Libertad Communications

Reading Comprehension

The art of reading follows fashions and trends in writing. Over 60% of English speakers are American, so it is only natural that changes in American use of language have directly altered the way we understand English.

The Flesch-Kincaid readability test was first introduced in 1975 by the US Navy to make sure that the language used in their operational manuals was simple enough that an eleven year old child could understand them. They made sentences shorter and cut out mood, voice and multi-clause sentences, to name but a few.

If not for the birth of desktop computers and mobile phones, at about the same time, we probably would never have heard of the Flesch-Kincaid test.

Unfortunately, changes in technology had created a whole new market. Due to its simplicity it was relatively easy to write a program to act as a Digital Writing Assistant for the new MS Word.

As a result, language has now devolved to the point that computers have moved on from editing. They have taken over the writing from humans. Sadly, no one can tell the difference anymore.

And this has led to problems.

I could write, “I ate the cake.”

If I wrote, “The cake was eaten” most Digital Writing Assistants would tell me the sentence was wrong. But if I am writing a report of the crime, where the perpetrator was unknown, taking that advice it would make my work meaningless.

Now language obscures meaning instead of revealing it. Take this example:

If you are not confident in your acquisition of advanced English you cannot tell that this sentence is effectively meaningless.

As another example:

Obviously, confusion has real world consequences and the problem is that the price of simplicity is clarity.

To express yourself in Professional English you must master the use of multi-clause sentences, the use of jargon, the use of mood and voice.

We run modular workshops to encourage advance learners to become professional master of English.