Thursday, June 19, 2008

I'm So High School

Hmm. All my intellectual pretensions have come to this:

blog readability test

My friend The Smirking Cat qualified as genius-level, and she writes about hockey (among other things). Go figure.

I've written about such esoterica as early medieval restrictions on sex, a critical history of patriarchy, and how women in the FLDS aren't much better off than ancient Babylonian women. I've bloviated about embodied experience and ahistoricism in the history of childbirth. I've rambled on about all manner of obscure medical and scientific ideas, from the health benefits of ejaculation to the link between testosterone and finger length (both of which get lots of Google hits, for some reason, though not quite as many as the Duggan family and their 18 children).

I've flirted with Marx, Irigaray, and Foucault, fer goodness sake. What more does a gal have to do to get dubbed pedantic?

Then again, assuming that the algorithm looks like stuff like sentence length and structure, being decidedly middlebrow might mean that my English hasn't been permanently Germanized. So perhaps I shouldn't be miffed. After all, I don't want my prose to sound like what Mark Twain lampooned in "The Awful German Language." It's bad enough when verbs get split in two in German or pile up at the end of a sentence like a train wreck (as a grad school colleague of mine loved to say). I don't want to start doing it in my mother tongue.

If you run your blog through this little analyzer, let me know in comments if you came out as more or less dumbed-down than Kittywampus!

7 comments:

Sally said...

I got the same rating. I'm actually surprised, I thought it'd be lower. I try to write as simple as possible in an attempt to be all-inclusive (b/c I'm usually accused of writing and speaking "too academic," whatever that is).

Heather Munro Prescott said...

Mine is also high school -- but I don't consider that a bad thing since I'm aiming for clear writing and accessibility.

figleaf said...

Given my background in adult education and instructional design I'd like to point out that "genius-level" writing is not, at all, a good thing because it means your writing is almost incomprehensible.

One of the big theoretical physicists of the early 20th Century claimed that if you really knew your stuff you could explain it in a way even a child understood. (It's attributed to several and it doesn't really matter much *which genius* actually said it.)

So! If you're able to talk Foucault in a way high-schoolers could handle then you're doing great.

figleaf

J.B. Kochanie said...

Sungold,

If it's any consolation, Figleaf and I have not graduated from high school either, which is fine with me. I was a diligent student and devoted many hours during my secondary education to become an accomplished fricatrice. Now that I think of it, that's why we're still in blog high school: all three of us repeatedly think and write about sex -- just like the proverbial horny teenagers. And for the record, I have no intention of growing up. ;-)

Sungold said...

Heh. I'd like to think that I really *can* explain Foucault to high schoolers. Actually, maybe I could ... I had pretty good success with undergrads last fall. It wasn't easy because I was continually second-guessing whether I was erring in one direction or another - too dumbed-down or too much complexity. But then, that's a constant problem in teaching, anyway; it's just exacerbated when the material is challenging even for the teacher.

Figleaf, are you thinking of Feynman? Sounds like him, anyway.

I'm not actually at all unhappy about being rated high school for the same reasons as Sally and Heather mentioned. But I *am* surprised that my writing hasn't been gummed up to the point of unreadability by 1) theory and 2) German syntax.

Heather, you know the other extreme of my writing in the form of my Berks paper. That would probably be worth running through the analyzer, just for a laugh. It would probably also answer Sally's question of what exactly we mean by "too academic." :-)

Kochanie, I knew about figleaf's drop-out history but not yours. It's funny - my husband's history is similar. He dropped out, became a stonemason, then eventually went back to school and ended up with a Ph.D. in philosophy. For him, at least, some of it was generational (the late 1970s were a tumultuous time in Germany), some familial - but much of it was just boredom.

I seem to have an affinity for people who are smart, original, and inclined to be autodidacts - a combination of qualities that schools don't necessarily serve well.

And Kochanie - I think you're at least in blog university by now. :-)

Thanks for the comments, everyone!

J.B. Kochanie said...

Sungold:

When I said that Figleaf and I were still in high school I was referring to the RealAdultSex blog, which was rated same as yours.

Diligent clod that I am, I worked full-time and obtained a bachelor of science in a technical field and returned to school for master's program in liberal arts. While the degrees are useful on my resume, I prefer to be a curious auto-didact.

As for Figleaf, I think the phrase gentleman and scholar describes him quite well. I was surprised when he said that he was interested in returning to school because I thought he should be teaching at the college level. Should his schedule allow him to return to school, I will envy his professors and fellow students.

Sungold said...

I remember that you went back to school for a master's, Kochanie, but didn't know you did a B.S. before that. I do think we're able to get a lot more out of college- and graduate-level education once we're past the first flush of youth.

I happen to think figleaf would've been a *fantastic* professor if he'd chosen that path. I'd love to have him in my classroom, though I agree he's way overqualified as a student. He's welcome to team-teach with me any day. :-)