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View Diary: Anti-Intellectualism Is Destroying Democracy In America (20 comments)

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  •  Some of this is fostered by the age of television (4+ / 0-)

    and the nationwide experiment that we have had for 60 years of getting concentrated information in 15, 30, and 60 second bursts that interrupt the longer narrative of the TV programs that we are watching.  We have been trained by television to have the short attention span theater that we now see around us and clearly feel it as a chore to wade through a longer, more sustained narrative like a book.  

    And look at the books we have today.  All thrillers or romances written on an 8th grade level for the popular market.  There are very few actually novelists left in this country who practice the craft of the novel.  

    And it feels like I'm livin'in the wasteland of the free ~ Iris DeMent, 1996

    by MrJersey on Tue May 07, 2013 at 11:37:27 AM PDT

    •  Meh. (0+ / 0-)

      I agree with you that television a problem, but I would say that it's more the lack of an independant media who views its job as Informing the Citizenry.

      Practically -all- good writing is at an 8th grade level or below.  All that the grade level metric does is measure sentance length and word length, I believe.  Anything that scores 10th+ tends to be written in a deliberately obtuse style, joining sentances and clauses together with a plethora of whereases, therefores, howevers, etc.  Or it's highly technical and not someone anyone would read for pleasure.  

      Just because the metric says that you're writing at, say, a fifth grade level, it doesn't mean that you're not discussing complex concepts or issues far above that grade level: it just means you keep your sentances short and punchy, avoid stringing far too many clauses together, and don't use a whole shit-ton of unnecessarily long words.  

      I just used a writing analysis site to score the first two paragraphs of Moby Dick -- from "Call me" to "water-gazers there."  It scores as 8th grade.  The first three paragraphs of A Tale of Two Cities scores as 11th grade material.  

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