User:Kansan/On readability scores

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Lately, we've had trouble keeping Did you know? updated. Just a month ago, we had no problems cranking them out. The problem seems to be that many nominations fail because their readability scores may be slightly above what is optimal (or even one or two readability scores), even if the average sixth grade reader probably would not have serious problems reading the article.

Readability scores are influenced by numerous factors, one of which is the presence of multisyllable words. Words with many syllables will drive up readability. However, the word "refrigerator" has four syllables, but I think most of us would agree that it's a common word that most readers would regularly recognize, and more recognizable than a word like "oust", which has one syllable but is likely missing from the vocabulary of the average sixth grader. Articles on terms that refer to names or places with several syllables will quickly find their scores driven up from the repetition of that word.

I believe that readability scores should be used as useful tools and not a sole judge of what is and isn't allowed. If only favorable scores were required, why do we even go through the process of vetting potential hooks and voting on them? In this case, we should embrace subjectivity and consider hooks using multiple factors, including both readability scores and common sense reading on whether the article "seems" simple. If it seems as simple as it can reasonably be without undermining the article and it does not seem overly complex, I see no reason not to display that hook on the front page.