I’ve found another fun way to waste your time: a website that ranks the “education level” of your favorite blogs.
I should warn you that I have absolutely no idea how the rankings are determined. Perhaps the algorithm is based upon complexity of sentence structure (such as, for example, the use of parenthetical clauses); maybe it looks for indicators such as proper compound-adjective hyphenation, occurrences of sesquipedalian words, or usage of words, once common, that have now fallen into desuetude.
On the other hand, I suppose that it may make note of, say, a writer’s aptitude for alliteration, familiarity with classical languages, or other such artes perditae, and it could even, for all that, be using some sort of statistical-semantics analysis, or word-sense-disambiguation — perhaps some form of Tikhonov regularization, like a support-vector machine — to evaluate the writer’s grasp of advanced technical material.†
I guess the fact is I don’t know what the heck it’s doing. Have a look for yourself here.
- † Another marker of academic writing that the software may take into consideration is the use of footnotes.