This Blog's Reading Level:


Not sure whether that's right, but, hey, "Think with the learned, and speak with the vulgar."

Is that based off the comments, the blog posts, or both?
11.9.2007 7:55pm
Humphrey Bogus (mail):
I tried a half dozen sites that focus on relatively complex issues (tax law, etc.). Every single one of them came back "junior high" level. I think this app isn't quite working properly....
11.9.2007 7:59pm
scote (mail):
I'm not sure I'd give too much credence to this. It gives BoingBoing a high school rating...or maybe BoingBoing really is more verbose than lawyers???
11.9.2007 8:16pm
Dave N (mail):
Sentencing Law and Policy is at the genius level. DailyKos is at junior high as is Little Green Footballs is at post-grad college level. I have no idea what any of this means. But since I only read this one and Professor Berman's blog regularly and enjoy both immensely, I don't really care.
11.9.2007 8:34pm
dejapooh (mail):
It is meaningless. Most of these programs use word length, sentence length, and paragraph size along with other metrics to reach a level. I would be proud that the blog is so readable, while not compromising on Complexity and depth.
11.9.2007 8:42pm
RW Rogers (mail):
I think dejapooh has it right. My own blog came out as being at genius label. It is no where near it. I'm just long-winded.
11.9.2007 8:49pm
glangston (mail):
Here's a clue. Rush Limbaugh dot com came back "Genius".
11.9.2007 8:59pm
DU come back College undergrad. I guess it is all the F words and other vulgar remarks.
11.9.2007 9:47pm
Jon Rowe (mail) (www):
I'd imagine that the lower the level, the better the writing. Too high a level means too abstruse too hard to read. As Eugene once noted there are no lazy readers only busy readers. By that he meant, the clearer, more understandable meaning of the prose, the better the writing.
11.9.2007 10:26pm
Daniel Chapman (mail):
Try taking out two out of every 3 paragraph breaks and test it again
11.9.2007 10:55pm
Gregory Conen (mail):
Or, it could mean that the lawyers who write blogs are generally better writers than the average joe. Which would not surprise me.
11.9.2007 11:58pm
Oxblog is at high school level?


I knew those guys were overrated! But since they're Jewish, EVERYBODY just ASSUMES they're smart.
11.10.2007 12:00am
I think David Adesnik has mentioned that he's Jewish, but I never thought Patrick Porter or Taylor Owen were Jewish names. I had to form my opinion of them by reading their posts (reasonably sharp, reasonably sharp, and tiresome putz, respectively.)

But while you were wrong to cite this algorithm as an authoritative statement on writing quality, wrong to assume other people judge a blogger based on his ethnicity, and wrong about the ethnicity of the blogger in question,
your spelling was flawless. So you have that going for you.
11.10.2007 12:23am
Alan K. Henderson (mail) (www):
Did a little testing:

Elementary school: Drudge Report
Junior high: Daily Kos, Instapundit, Weather Channel
High school: Dan Drezner, Andrew Sullivan, Transterrestrial Musings, AP, UPI, my own blog
College undergrad:, Michelle Malkin, Samizdata
College postgrad: - Accuracy in Media, LGF
Genius: Rush Limbaugh, Agence France Presse, Ananova, Granma Int'l (English translation)
11.10.2007 2:03am
dejapooh (mail):
Wow! Someone said I was right... I like this discussion!

I agree with Jon about writing quality.
11.10.2007 3:17am
BGates--Bill, Bill, Bill . . . So they have you duped, too?

"Patrick Porter" is in fact a pseudonym for Daniel Ben Zvi. And "Taylor Owen"? He was born Sandy Koufax. Face it, Oxblog--like NYT, NPR, and Wikipedia--is part of the ZOG. We need to get serious about this stuff.

Although YOU used the word "putz," so perhaps you are just another one of the shills?
11.10.2007 7:35am
Lonetown (mail):
Darn! Posting here was making me feel smart!
11.10.2007 8:08am
John Kindley (mail) (www):
Damn! My blog,, scored at the Genius level. My writing must suck worse than I thought.
11.10.2007 9:04am
John Kindley (mail) (www):
And apparently, I can't figure out how to properly link to my blog, either.
11.10.2007 9:08am
Falafalafocus (mail):
It appears that Hoosier has discovered our dark, dark secret. Still, I do find it odd that 1) Hoosier can gloat about a website being scored at high school level (assuming that such a score means anything), and at the same time, 2) Hoosier can insinuate (that word never looks like it is spelled correctly. Hoosier, can you help me out on that one) that the same website is part of an underground effort, with shills at that.

Since Hoosier clearly has some more information, I must ask: how can I get an application to join? As you can plainly read, I don't have much gramatical abilities myself.
11.10.2007 9:47am
Application to join the ZOG?

Just go to the nearest Starbuck's: That's the front organization. Order a double decaf espresso. They'll take it from there.

I am (obviously!) not a member of the Zionist Conpsiracy. So I have no clue what the application process is like, though I assume there's a LONG background-check. And they probably make you pee in a cup.

On the other hand, they probably already have a file one you; they monitor all the best blogs, you know.
11.10.2007 10:04am
CLS (mail) (www):
I tried and got high school level for it -- which seems relatively fair since it is written for the average reader. But oddly when I put in, which is all libertarian oriented film or film clips this got genius level. Yet it is all film and no writing.
11.10.2007 10:05am
Just Dropping By (mail):
I think the fact that Ananova scored at "genius" is sufficient evidence to conclude that this thing is fundametally flawed.
11.10.2007 10:15am
Falafalafocus (mail):
I took us on a tangent. I appologize. Hoosier is obviously just a shill for Oxblog anyway. He's made a reader out of me. I promise to push my zionist agenda there every chance I get. Even if it means having to get the dreadful coffee at Starbucks.
11.10.2007 10:28am
Falafal--You are my brother! (Or sister!) Starbucks isn't really evil. It just tastes evil.
11.10.2007 11:24am
Dr. Weevil (mail) (www):
I don't think the algorithm is purely a matter of word, sentence, and paragraph lengths. It's apparently looking for uncommon words, as well. At least, when I plug in some pages that are all in Latin, like this one, they come out as 'Genius' level. Latin words tend to be a bit longer than English, but the 'paragraphs' are shorter: one line each, since it's verse.
11.10.2007 11:31am
J Greely (mail) (www):
It's a search engine optimization scam. The generated HTML includes links to things like cash advance loan sites.

11.10.2007 12:19pm
Genius: = Postgrad = High School = Genius

The page with 'SOOT' listed the following text:

Popular Categories
Airline Tickets
Girl On Girl

Photo Personal

Arab Girl
Video De Wanda


Favorite Categories

Airline tickets
Car rental
South Beach Hotels


Free credit report
Online Payment
Credit Card Application
Car Insurance
Health insurance


Houses For Sale
People Search
Real Estate Training


An algorithm that returns 'genius' for the text above is too silly to contemplate seriously.
11.10.2007 12:36pm
Cullen (mail):
I don't know if the reference to bloggers being Jewish is intended to be tongue in cheek. If it's meant to be ironic, then ok but word to the wise - be better at this since it sounds anti-Jewish. Ditto for the apparently Zionist conspiracy comments.

In the event that the comments are intended to be anti-Jewish (or thinly veiled anti-Jewish anti-Zionism), then they're obviously objectionable and ought to be removed from the comments. In fairness, I think the comments' authors ought to be given a chance to explain what they meant.

11.10.2007 2:40pm
Mr_Thorne (mail) (www):
Here's a post that discusses the readability of an article on copyrights published by a law firm.
11.10.2007 5:50pm
Anderson (mail):
ObWi's college-level, Crooked Timber and Balkinization are genius ... Tyler Durden's elementary school ... I can see that.

More big words, Volokhians!
11.10.2007 5:55pm
Dave Hardy (mail) (www):
I don't know if the reference to bloggers being Jewish is intended to be tongue in cheek. If it's meant to be ironic, then ok but word to the wise - be better at this since it sounds anti-Jewish. Ditto for the apparently Zionist conspiracy comments.

Who are you REALLY working for? And I'd bet my last bottle of Thorazine that your name isn't Cullen.
11.10.2007 7:20pm
markm (mail):
The algorithm attempts to estimate what it takes to read the site, not what it takes to write it. It probably doesn't do that very well. Of course, if a Genius rating is accurate, it doesn't necessarily mean that the typical reader is a genius - maybe the site appeals to idiots that like to think that they're being smart even though in actuality they are misunderstanding most of it...
11.10.2007 8:02pm
Alan K. Henderson (mail) (www):
More big words, Volokhians!
Nitwit! Blubber! Oddment! Tweak!

Now this makes me laugh: also rated at high school reading level is Alan Sokal's Transgressing the Boundaries: Towards a Transformative Hermeneutics of Quantum Gravity.
11.11.2007 2:56am
Alan K. Henderson (mail) (www):
Did another little test. Took a Supreme Court case - U. S. v. E. C. KNIGHT CO., 156 U.S. 1 (1895) - and ran through the tester several different sites that list its full text. The Cornell and Touro Law Center versions are Genius level, but the vLex version and versions rate at College (Postgrad).

The one obvious difference between the Genius and Postgrad sites is that the latter have sidebar links.
11.11.2007 3:43am
Duffy Pratt (mail):
Well a chapter on pointwise convergance of functions, a topic in real analysis, got an elementary school rating.

This is rather silly.
11.11.2007 5:09am
Cullen--YOU tell ME: Why else would someone order a decaf espresso?
11.11.2007 9:58am
Michael B (mail):
Pure guess, but I'd place a small bet that "Mein Kampf" would receive a high-school or college reading level grade and "The Protocols" a genius level.
11.11.2007 7:47pm
Public_Defender (mail):

Most of these programs use word length, sentence length, and paragraph size along with other metrics to reach a level. I would be proud that the blog is so readable, while not compromising on Complexity and depth.

I agree. This is a compliment to the ability of the conspirators to write clearly and simply.
11.12.2007 6:41am
Falafalafocus (mail):

I was attempting sarcasm at Hoosier's implication that a site better/worse based on the readibility score which Hoosier claimed was part of some conspiratorial zionist plan (I still don't see anything on Oxblog to support that claim, but that is neither here nor there). In any event, it became obvious that I was just feeding a troll, to which I appologized. Hoosier can drink his starbucks with a smile that this jew (I may well be a Zionist as well. I haven't considered the term objectively in relation to my own policy preferences in a long, long while) has given up playing his game. I appologize for the confusion. Professor Volokh was correct that sarcasm does not travel well over the internet.
11.12.2007 11:54am
Falafal--I'm not a troll, buddy. I was making an ironic observation about a stereotype, to wit, people who support the right of Israel to exist are Zionist shills.

If I really wanted to run down Oxblog, I would have never mentioned its name and given them pulicity.

But since I have: Check it out, VCers. Its one of the most intelligent international affairs blogs you'll find. Though the output has shrunk significantly since its creators left Oxford and got . . ugh! . . . /jobs/.
11.12.2007 12:23pm
Kent G. Budge (mail) (www):
This applet gave one of my particle physics essays a "high school" rating.

Either I'm a genius at explaining particle physics, or the applet is a bit off.
11.13.2007 4:02pm