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Maintain an appropriate reading age in collaborative writing
  [vote for,

There exist web sites [link] which claim to be able to automatically calculate the readability of a piece of text in terms of the number of years of formal education that might be expected of a reader in order for them to understand the text.

The calculation is made using the Gunning fog index [link] and other algorithms.

So: every time a Wikipedia article is edited, an embedded application calculates the Gunning fog index of that article.

Contributors endeavour to maintain the reading age of the article at an appropriate level, by selecting and manipulating the language used in their edits.

Different versions of the same Wikipedia article evolve, aimed at children, teenagers, adults, and hyper-intelligent digital brain-amphibians.

Or, articles are structured in such a way as to give low fog index scores for introductory paragraphs, with more specialised language reserved for sections further down the page.

Special lists are published of pages with unusually low or high overall fog index scores, for particular attention by editors.

Thus, Wikipedia attains a more even tone, with less of the faux-academic style which ruins perfectly good collaborative writing on specialist topics.


(This post has a Gunning fog index of around 14)

bibliotaphist, Sep 21 2007

Tests Document Readability And Improve It http://www.online-u...est_and_improve.jsp
[bibliotaphist, Sep 21 2007]

Gunning fog index http://en.wikipedia...i/Gunning_fog_index
[bibliotaphist, Sep 21 2007]

Simple English Wikipedia http://simple.wikip....org/wiki/Main_Page
Well, .. they're trying. [jutta, Sep 21 2007]


       But doesn't this make those texts all sound the same? Kind of a uniform feeling? Where would be the (vive la) difference that gives colour to our lives?
zeno, Sep 21 2007

       (I thought this would be a Wikipedia for old people who can't spell.)   

       It's not quite the same, but did you know that Wikipedia has a version in "Simple English" - a version of English starting from a limited vocabulary (and explaining everything else)?
jutta, Sep 21 2007

       //Lepidoptery// The sound of a wet leather glove being shaken out.
MaxwellBuchanan, Sep 21 2007

       I first read this as "Frogipedia"....
xenzag, Sep 21 2007


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