A Farewell to Sesquipedalians and Other Big Words that Make You Not Want To Read Stuff


Don’t worry, I didn’t know what “sesquipedalian” meant either.

trumpwordsI recently came across the Hemingway Editor which allows you to enter and edit text for review. As you can see from the picture below, it identifies:

  1. hard (and very hard) to read sentences
  2. passive voice
  3. misspelled words
  4. unnecessary adverbs
  5. alternative phrase options

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Sounds pretty great to me, but I think I may be more intrigued by the readability measurement. This has some pretty interesting potential uses for the classroom – from a student or a teacher perspective.

For students:
1. Use the site as part of the rough draft process – as an addition or in combination to peer reviews.
2. Practice changing sentence structure to increase or decrease readability.
3. I like having students explain or present to a younger audience. When students have to teach or present, have them edit with this to consider the best way to get their message across.

For teachers:
1. Check assignments, instructions, directions before giving them to students. I’m not a huge fan of listed directions, but I’m even less a fan of confusing instructions.
2. When working with second language learners, edit, modify and tweak the reading level down to a more manageable text.
3. Hello differentiated texts.

Notice that it doesn’t check for grammar, but it’s easy to use your word processor of choice for that. Even if you do know words and even have the best words – it may not be the best for your audience.

Please, think of the children.

What other potential uses do you see for this?

Oh and before you check the readability of this post – it’s at a 6th grade level, but my first draft was 9th. Hope the revisions helped.