A Note On Readability

One of my complaints about the Pledge of Allegiance is that schoolchildren do not really understand it, and they are not expected to spend a lot of time analyzing its words.  Well, interestingly, one reason that they are not expected to is that it is not written at a grade-school comprehension level.  And no wonder — it is a long, run-on sentence using complex and obscure words denoting highly abstract concepts.

If you use this tool to assess the readability of the Pledge of Allegiance, you find that it is rated with an average requirement of 14.28 years of education before it can be understood.  Given that a senior in high school is in her thirteenth year of formal education, that places the text of the Pledge of Allegiance outside the grasp of what is expected from a high school student.

By contrast, my post “The Sixty Second Patriot #1” providing a brief meditation on George Washington is scored at 8.48 years of education, meaning it should be fully understood by a seventh-grader.

Burt Likko

Pseudonymous Portlander. Homebrewer. Atheist. Recovering litigator. Recovering Republican. Recovering Catholic. Recovering divorcé. Recovering Former Editor-in-Chief of Ordinary Times. House Likko's Words: Scite Verum. Colite Iusticia. Vivere Con Gaudium.