When I started writing articles in English, which is not my mother language, I also entered the world of what platforms like medium want. A basic aim of mine was -and still is- to improve my English and express my opinion in that language too, in parallel with my Greek writing. I knew that my Greek is better than my English, with richer vocabulary, wider ability to play with the words, and much more. But I wanted to take this step, for my own reasons.
I always try to improve my article writing and, when it comes to English posts, I stay informed about tools and methods that make the articles more attractive. But, all these methods are never more important than being me when I’m writing, declaring my point about the subject I refer to in any given article, putting the wider way of thinking on the table. In any case, I don’t aim to write only for 6th-8th graders.
“Medium” is full of guides about how to increase the interest around your articles. Many of these posts, include the readability check to their lists of what you necessarily have to do. And they urge you not to publish anything that has more than a specific degree they mention, as a result of the readability test. For those who don’t know, a readability test is an online tool in which you insert your text and you can see how easy would be for someone to read it. Not higher than that specific degree, means generally, to write on average for 8th graders most.
I don’t have a problem with 8th graders but, is it what we do now? Do we have to write only in the frame that a 13–14-year-old mind can catch?
I thought we were writing for adults. Have I misunderstood something?
What this means is not exactly to write for 13–14-year-old people but for adults who want to read an article very easily, to go smoothly, not to put themselves into the effort, not to do mind processes to go beyond what they could understand so far, not to enter new territories. Easy words, small sentences, short paragraphs, known phrases, not complicated words.
In other words, you have to serve a very easily digestible reading food…
I’m not saying that all texts have to be complicated or sophisticated. Life needs and has all kinds of things, and we have a large range of needs. So, we choose. When we want to read or write something more “heavy”, we do so, and when we want something lighter, we do so, too. Because this is freedom. But, directing people to read or write only easy stuff, it’s like enslaving them to a prison of non-evolution.
Plutarch, a great personality of the ancient world, said: “The mind is not a vessel to be filled but a fire to be kindled”.
And that fire cannot be kindled if we only choose easy and effortless ways, being afraid of challenging our minds.
Anthi Psomiadou — CC BY-NC-ND 4.0 International : Credit must be given to the creator/ Only noncommercial uses of the work are permitted/ No derivatives