Clear Your Written Fog

How glowing is your prose? Once you’ve spent ages over your latest Proposal, is it actually readable?

You can easily and quickly check. I was reminded recently of the Fog Index.

Impressively, the wikipedia page on this is unusually digestible. Which must be a good sign. Perhaps it is deliberate that the only item requiring a double-take is the maths formula to graphically represent it.

fog-index-formula

But don’t let that put you off. Follow the worked-through examples.

Then simply copy ‘n paste just over 100 words from your latest writings and run the test yourself.

In summary;

  1. Divide the number of words by the number of sentences to find the average number of words per sentence.
  2. Then count the number of words with three or more syllables (don’t include proper names, verb endings like –ing and separate hyphenated words).
  3. Add the average number of words per sentence to the total number of long words, and multiply by 0.4.
  4. If you come out between 9-12 on this Fog Index you are a reasonably clear communicator. If you exceed 12, you need to change your approach.

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