Test your blog's readability with Juicy Studio's Readability Test: Your Gunning-Fog Index is "a rough measure of how many years of schooling it would take someone to understand the content. The lower the number, the more understandable the content will be to your visitors."
"Steve [Professor Bainbridge] seems to assume that a smarter person writes harder-to-read prose -- which would put Kevin Drum on an unusually high level," writes a skeptical Ann Althouse. The springboard for her post is an intriguing test that purports to calculate the readability of your blog -- click on over there just for fun to see "how many years of schooling one would need" to comprehend your writing.* Our "Gunning-Fog Index" came out at 10.24 (Ann's is 10.46) -- between Time's 10 and The Wall Street Journal's 11, not a bad place to be (we've always cringed at Time's breathlessness and felt at home with WSJ's crisp, businesslike prose). But as far as the test's premise, we're with Ann:
The real question is how sophisticated your ideas are. If you are saying simple things in convoluted prose, you're a terrible writer who doesn't deserve to be read. Point me to the writer -- like Mark Twain [whose Fog Index, together with TV Guide's and The Bible's ('wonder which version?)] -- who's saying striking, new things in clear prose! Blogs, especially, should be easy to read. But blog posts should contribute something new to the mix. Do you seriously think you're doing a better job if you're writing something harder to read? Don't you think Mark Twain worked over his prose to make it readable?
Ann's post elegantly exemplifies her prescription for good blog writing. It's easy to read and contributes something to the mix.