Reading level is not quite what it would seem. If you are writing too fancy, a lot of folks will not understand what you are saying.
In addition, a lot of folks with very little to say dress up their deficiencies by using big worlds and writing long sentences and long paragraphs.
On the other end of the scale, if your prose gets too simple and stilted, it may read as boring and juvenile as a Dick-and-Jane book.
Supposedly, the rule of thumb is to strive for about a sixth to eighth grade reading level.
In short, I appear to be hitting the mark. Not that I was trying. I just believe in declarative sentences like "Call me Ismael."
A few random bits and bobs on literacy in America:
- The 1992 National Adult Literacy Survey of the National Center for Education Statistics found that "Nearly 50% of the Americans surveyed cannot read well enough to find a single piece of information in a short publication, nor can they make low level inferences based on what they read."
- About one in every four Americans (25%) is a high school dropout.
- About half (45%) have gone to college for some period of time, but fewer than one in six (15%) have a college degree
"A" is for appalachia, and "B" is for blonde.