Wednesday, January 25, 2012

8th Grade Reading

You can read various critiques of President Obama’s State of the Union address out on the interwebs, but there is one critique out there that is, frankly, pretty lame. It is the idea that there is something risible about the speech being written at an 8th grade level.

I write for a living. Writing at an 8th grade level is a good approach, in most cases. Too many people confuse complexity with intelligence. Truth be told, needless complexity is usually a mask for something else, including incoherence or deceit. At the level of attention that most people can offer, communicating at the 8th grade level is usually where you want to be. Reading need not be the intellectual equivalent of calisthenics.


Gino said...

if i remember correctly, the standard newspaper or news weekly (Time, Newsweek etc) are written for an eight grade level. its the nature of comunication for the masses, and the level in which most of us speak to one another in casual conversation.

Anonymous said...

How smart do you have to be to be able to write at an 8th grade level? I mean, can 8th graders do it? I know college graduates who cannot, and those who can easily exceed it as well, but even they do not consider whether or not they have done so, nor HOW to do so.

J. Ewing

CousinDan 54915 said...

And it keeps Joe Biden in the loop.