42 thoughts on “The Flesch-Kincaid Grade Level Indicator”

  1. Lol! I love when people talk about their 1611 KJV authorized inspired preserved infallible word of God. Related: today on fb, a fundy “friend” of mine posted something like this as his status update:
    “as of today, there are 6909 living languages in the world, yet how many of them have a true Bible based on the King James received text? There is still so much work to be done!” [superfluous punctuation deleted, most spelling/grammar errors corrected]

    my husband said, “those poor Israelites! What did they do before 1611?”

  2. Got It!

    For all: Verily Thou art a doltish youth and thy ill speech against th Flesh-Kincaid score is as the sin of witchcraft. Seventeenth century English is easy to understand.

    I’m ok with KJV but 17th century spelling is where I have my trouble.

  3. My KJV-only dad often tells me, “I’ve never met anyone who couldn’t understand the KJV” as I just shake my head, baffled. My husband and I have worked with teenagers who can barely read today’s English, much less comprehend the KJV. They truly do not understand what they’re reading, as anyone could tell if you’ve ever sat in a Sunday School class where such kids each read a verse in a circle around the room. By the end of the passage, we’re all exhausted and none of the teens has any idea what was read!

  4. Thif if awefome! Uery funny! I loue the ftick figure poftf, et the 1611 font if a great touch! Peraduenture there will be many more poftf in thif ftyle.

  5. The triumphant return of stick figures! I still love them! Thanks for the translation @phil

  6. Again, ſirrah, thy Blogge is a good Blogge, and hath mvch Merit and mvch Mirth, and as the Reader Mo hath ſo well diſcvſſed, uery fvll of good Hvmovr. But alas, it is not becoming for one ſvch as I to inſiſt vpon the Eaſe of goode Queene Elizabeths Engliſh, for I even yet make I mvch ſtvdy of the avncient Tongves of the ſelf ſame Land, of Olde Engliſh, and of Middle Engliſh, and of the Works vndertaken in thoſe Tongves by worthier Men than I; and behold, I do finde the Engliſh of the Avthoriſed Verſion eaſie to take within my Grasp and to comprehend; bvt take Heed, for I have made Stvdie of theſe Tongves, for to vnderſtand them, while thoſe Grovndlings called by ſome Fvndys, ſtvdy have they not. Thvs do they so groſſlie miſinterpret the Words of the Scriptvres, for uerily, thovgh moſt are of ſome Intellect, and have ſome vnderſstanding, by wilfvl Ignorance are they made Nicompoops.

    Fvrther covld I speek, bvt lo, now muſt I cover my feete.

  7. I wonder if it would be possible to get a “verily” button on face book, in place of the modern, liberal, devil-lovin’ “like” button.

  8. For those of you who don’t like thees and thous here a more modern version
    No Thees or Thous Version(NTTV)

    Truly you are a doltish youth and your speech against the Flesch-Kincaid score is like the sin of witchcraft. Seventeenth Century English is easy to understand.

    My oringinal translation is inspired and should be put in the Book of The Chronicles of Funny Fundy Proverbs.

  9. @Phil You wanna translate @Jordan post I was laughing at as much of it as I could. Facebook should have a Fundy option in languages like they had Pirates for a while (not sure if they still do or not). I would love to push the verily button!

  10. Translation of Jordan’s script:

    “Again, sirrah, thy blog is a good blog, and hath much merit and much mirth, and as the Reader Mo hath so well discussed, very full of good humor. But alas, it is not becoming for one such as I to insist upon the ease of good Queen Elizabeth’s English, for I even yet make I much study of the ancient tongues of the self same land, of Old English, and of Middle English, and of the works undertaken in those tongues by worthier men than I; and behold, I do find the English of the Authorized Version easy to take within my grasp and to comprehend; but take heed, for I have made study of these tongues, for to understand them, while those groundlings called by some Fundies, study have they not. Thus do they so grossly misinterpret the Words of the Scriptures, for verily, though most are of some intellect, and have some understanding, by willful ignorance are they made nincompoops.
    Further could I speak, but lo, now must I cover my feet.”

  11. I’ll handle that. Here’s the New Living translation of my post:

    Hilarious post, Darrell. I personally find Elizabethan English easy, but then again, I study Old and Middle English. Fundies, on the other hand, refuse to study languages and make themselves look like idiots.

    Later–going to the can.

    Speaking of “covering my feet,” in my opinion the biggest problem with the KJV–beyond spelling, grammar, and outmoded vocabulary–is simple turns of phrase like that. I’ve known people who refused to believe that, when David spared King Saul’s life in the cave, Saul was, uh, moving his bowels.

    And verily, I, too, would love to click the “verily” button.

  12. @jordan…. ahhhh! No wonder David said… “Can’t Touch this…na-na-na -na… na-na…na-na… Can’t touch this….”
    Since Saul was the Lord’s annointed… is that cave incident where we got the phrase, “Holy fhit!”

  13. @Iordan M. Pofs: Brauo!

    infofar af concerneth buttonf:

    i uote for an “amen” button & a “get faued” button

  14. I was going to say ” huh?” But then you would thinketh me a doltith old person! Wither on the night stand is the Norton Anthology that I got back in the olde days, 1973 (bc as in before computers!)
    Very funny, Darrell

  15. I was at Pastors School When Hyles pulled out that thing and proved that the KJV was good for K-5 kids!

  16. Ah, yes, one of the great red herrings of KJV-Onlyism.

    The Flesch-Kincaid scale is a measure of words-per-sentence and syllables-per-word only, and ignores vocabulary. So a sentence in Swahili, koine Greek, or transliterated Mandarin will be judged “easier” than a sentence out of Dr. Seuss book, if it has fewer syllables on average per word and fewer words on average per sentence.

    Looking at the Flesch-Kinkaid numbers the KJV advocates come up with, I am pretty convinced that they are using average words per VERSE instead of words per sentence, which are two different things. The KJV often has very, very long sentences that go on for several verses, and I am pretty sure that this would drive the true KJV Flesch-Kincaid reading level into the post-high-school range. But that’s moot anyway, because it’s not sentence length that trips most 21st-century Americans up when reading the KJV so much as it is the archaic vocabulary and sentence structure that Flesch-Kincaid doesn’t measure.

  17. Splendidly done Darrell! *Applauds*
    @JMP. wow. I’m wondering how long it took to type that. But then again, you study it, so it could be cake.

  18. The Flesch-Kincaid Grade Level Indicator: Helping fundies justify ignorance & stupidity. Who doth need a new translation? If thee Apostle Paul useth the KJV, then it doth not need to be updated.

  19. In truth, I ftand aftonifhed before ye erudition of Reader Mo, Jordan M., & Phil Ray.
    Ye hath donne vvell, brethren and sistern.

  20. As legend has it, a 50’s era Texas school board president said “If King James English was good enough for my lord and savior Jesus Christ, it’s good enough for me.”

  21. Alexis, that’s a slightly garbled version of the story. The original is even better, so please bear with me.

    Texas Governor James Edward Ferguson was impeached and removed from office in 1917. He was barred from holding office again, so in 1924 his wife, Miriam A. “Ma” Ferguson, ran for governor basically as a stand-in for him (she openly said so). Her best-remembered campaign promise was to stop the teaching of foreign languages in Texas schools. She explained that there was no need for other languages because “If the English language was good enough for Jesus Christ, it’s good enough for the children of Texas.”* I don’t know if this pledge had much effect on the outcome of the election, but Miriam Ferguson won. She served two nonconsecutive terms, 1925-1927 and 1933-1935, making her both the 29th and the 32nd governor of the State of Texas. She was the first woman to be governor of Texas, and only the second woman to be governor of a U.S. state (Nellie Tayloe Ross of Wyoming was the first). Texas has had only one other female governor, Ann Richards in the 1990s.


    *Some historians claim that M.A. Ferguson probably never said this. But where’s the fun in that theory? See

  22. If you’re too stupid to read the KJV or Shakespeare for meaning, it’s probably not a good idea to consider yourself the intellectual superior of those who are not.

    Just a thought.

    1. It is possible to at the same time be able to understand something and acknowledge that the majority of other people are not going to be able to understand it.

      Not that I get the feeling you’re actually looking for a reasoned discussion on the matter. Call it a hunch.

    2. I assume that means if you’d also be too stupid to be worthy of God’s grace in that situation as well?

      I’m curious how stupid it is to misspell your website when you post it to link?

        1. My bad. The level of willful (and I think feigned) obliviousness to their own shortcomings combined with a total disdain for and (out of desire to hide their own by deriding others) exagerated attacks on anyone they can find to abuse, just sets me off. A-hole deserved harsher pushback.

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