What Grade is Your Content Comprehension?

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Archon:
If you're comprehending this, you may just be a snob.

This article is so filled with brilliance from start to finish that I'm still basking in it as we speak.

To be a snob is to be a consumer only willing to consume content created at a high comprehension level.

I honestly cannot think of a more perfectly worded, truer sentence I have read in my lifetime. You, sir, are quickly becoming my new favorite person to read. It truly is a shame you don't write more often than you do.

yeah, stop big words now.

ZP make learn words good!

Alright, I'll stop that now and revert to my standard speech patter... wait what? The density of higher grade words in this communicative text is far higher than the average!

But yeah, I've learned things from ZP. Like Callipidgean. Callipidgeon. Callipygian. I know what that means now, even if I can't spell it.

RvLeshrac:

Nimbus:
I had to read that about four times to understand what the hell you were on about. Essentially all you are saying is that rules dictate how the choices which the players make will effect the game, covered over with several layers of jargon. It just seems like you were using a higher "grade" then necessary to convey your point.

You missed the subtext: The rules additionally affect the player's interactions, they don't simply define the effects. (c wut i did thar?)

Right. That is, by trying to paraphrase what I said, Nimbus didn't actually say what I meant.

That said, Nimbus is correct that I tend to be over-complicated. No one could ever accuse me of writing with too much simple clarity. I once had a Harvard Law professor tell me I needed to dumb my writing down.... doh.

SavingPrincess:
I honestly cannot think of a more perfectly worded, truer sentence I have read in my lifetime. You, sir, are quickly becoming my new favorite person to read. It truly is a shame you don't write more often than you do.

Thank you very much! I also do a column on tabletop games, in addition to the publisher's note, but that's all I can handle right now...

What this makes me think of is my problem with a lot of academic writing. If something is complex and can only be discussed easily/accurately/at all in a way that not everyone can understand, that's one thing, but a lot of the time it feels like people go out of their way to add unnecessary complexity to their writing, whether it's to sound more important than they are or to exclude outsiders or just out of habit because everyone else does it.

I remember when one of my friends was at Brown and every final paper turned in for one of her classes had at least one use of the word "problematize", which you will almost never see outside of academic writing, and I don't think a single one of them was necessary or helped get their points across better. For the most part, it made their papers more awkward to read, but they seemed to all be used to seeing and reading things like that in the source material used for the class, so it didn't seem weird to them until I, as an outsider, pointed it out.

If you want a particularly awful example of that, try reading most articles on Wikipedia about math or hard science. Sure, being specific and using the correct terms for the in-depth sections makes sense, but a lot of the time even the summaries (above the table of contents) are nearly incomprehensible even to students majoring in that field or people who have already completed degrees in related fields.

Anyone who's written something like that should be ashamed of themselves for being completely unable to communicate ideas clearly to people. It's nice that the language allows for complex concepts to be expressed, but abusing it when it's not needed is often a failure on the part of the speaker/writer. If you can't explain things in a way that people can understand, you're doing something wrong (i.e. ENGLISH, MOTHERFUCKER! DO YOU SPEAK IT?).

Ok. I'll stop bitching now. I just get a little cranky about that, despite at the same time being depressed by the dismal quality of writing I see all over the place on a regular basis. I'll refrain from getting into examples (like the episode of V I watched last night to see if it still sucked, only to discover that it must've been written by some illiterate hack who never finished middle school...), or I could rant for the rest of the day. Heh.

Divine Miss Bee:
well, my reading level has been tested at around 20.7, so very little goes over my head when it comes to comprehension. doesn't mean i don't enjoy some of the lower-level stuff. sometimes i just don't feel like thinking that hard, which is something i don't think your researchers take into account.

also, ZP owns at smart and dumb humor!

-looks at your Grammar-...20.7 eh....

My writing varies my word basically tells me the level it is written at it varies around grade 9-11, even though I'm grade 12 so meh, I still get 80s so why should I care?

Archon:
That said, Nimbus is correct that I tend to be over-complicated. No one could ever accuse me of writing with too much simple clarity. I once had a Harvard Law professor tell me I needed to dumb my writing down.... doh.

I usually have to go read Hitchens when I want to see 'praising with faint damn.'

Sebenko:
But yeah, I've learned things from ZP. Like Callipidgean. Callipidgeon. Callipygian. I know what that means now, even if I can't spell it.

I've been a fan of that word for years, ever since I first ran into it. After all, I do like big butts, and I cannot lie. And it was too perfect to resist naming my female character in Titan Quest "Kallipygos" (the original Greek word, but spelled with the Latin alphabet, since that's all my keyboard's got) for bonus Greek/geek points to fit in with the setting. Also because I'm a big dork.

/sigh, if only I could articulate my thoughts properly. As it is...I rarely look too deeply into most things, what I read, watch, play, I do so purely for the entertainment they provide. For me, the only differences between The Man Who Was Thursday, Watchmen and the works of Terry Pratchett are the setting plot and characters, and crass as it may be, I usually just plow through them, only barely noticing deeper or more complex themes as I do so.

However. What I do like are words. I'm fairly restrained on a forum such as this, but what I wouldn't wonder to spend my time throwing around a far more voluminous vocabulary than I'm guessing not a lot would care to read. Plus, it's all too easy to hurl big words and come off an unscrupulous pedant with a stob thrust up his netherworks with no real meaning behind him. Ohh...right.

Archon:

Smokescreen:
So let's start with the first problem:
For being an article that wants to talk about content comprehension, the author then tries to re-purpose the definition of a word. Snob, definition, Mirram-Webster: http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/snob
That strike anyone as a little weird that he didn't find a more precise term? Maybe even ironic?

Is there a word that I ought to have used that would have better expressed my point? Everyone else here seems to have understood what I meant.

How about connoisseur, aficionado, specialist, gourmet, or expert?

Everyone else here understanding what you meant is exactly the problem if you want to talk about the use of language. You were imprecise but everyone (but me) got it-so that makes it OK?

Sorry; the definition of the word snob is not what you say it is, you should've chosen better and your attempt to justify it does not convince me. That everyone else 'got it' seems to prove Rudolph Flesch and Robert Gunning correct, not you.

Then there's what seems to be a backhanded strike at Kotaku, or at least that writer, on a game that can't and won't ever strike the upper echelon of gaming. Just a little unfair, that.

Kotaku's article was, in fact, written at the 4th grade level. I verfied this with an online measurement of the Gunning Fog score. If you have an issue with it, take it up with the writer and/or blog. Incidentally, as the rest of the article pointed out, having a low reading level is also the same thing as having a high readability. Romance novels and newspapers AIM to have the highest possible readability on purpose. I suspect Kotaku, if it bothered to measure its grade level, would wear its score with pride. If they are, in fact, offended, all they have to do is use bigger words. Either way, it's not my problem.

You have misunderstood what my issue was, because it wasn't with them. It is with your selection of an article-one designed to turn readers away and have them look at it for it's subject instead of it's quality, coupled with backhanded language meant to bias the reader.

Look I have no problem with suggesting that people have different tastes and that there is an intellectual comprehension that comes with appreciation. The idea that you (or I) might have more sophisticated tastes which has us leaving behind objects of lesser quality is the kind of thing that isn't new-but ought to be promoted and encouraged.

If this is your encouragement, I hate to see how you write when you want to discourage people!

Sigh. I suppose we aren't going to have a conversation, then?

However, I don't think the author's case is forwarded very well in this article. His language is imprecise and it shouldn't be, his tone is condescending "What an enigma (or mystery, to you 4th grade readers)!" and there's no reason for it, there's no call to action, that is; no suggestion that we ought to 1) demand more 2) teach others 3) engage ourselves at higher levels, and the article ends on these loaded questions, "Do you consider yourself game snobs? Web snobs? Am I right that ZP is funny on multiple levels.... Or is it really just all about the codpiece?"

There's no suggestion that we should demand more because the point is that people can't handle "more". In fact, people who've studied the matter have concluded the solution is "write for a less-educated audience". My conclusion was that you could try and have your cake and eat it too with densely packed writing.

I'm sorry, but this makes no sense to me. If your point is that "people can't handle "more" " and your conclusion is "you could try and have your cake and eat it too with densely packed writing" isn't that at odds with each other?

Either people can handle more or they can't-but if they can't, giving them more densely packed writing isn't going to let us have our cake and eat it too. On top of that, saying that articles/media/whatever should just throw everything and the kitchen sink at us for purposes of density seems to be a rather foolish way to make something better. I don't improve a chocolate cake by adding hamburger-but it sure would make for a dense cake, right? Making something dense for the purposes of making it seem smarter is foolish; we do things to communicate effectively. If nobody understood Zero Punctuation, it wouldn't matter how funny it was, nobody would show up.

In addition, if what I've read in Freakonomics is correct, we actually can handle more; our media is stuffed with plotlines and characters that we keep track of-way more than ever before.

So if we ought to have more, then let's have us raise the bar, man. If we can't handle it-if those experts are right, then let's concede that and see how to work around it.

Let's push it even further; I don't know the first thing about cars. I can change a tire. I know what looks cool and that's about it. Anyone who does know about cars can do one of two things; be a snob-which /by definition/ means they're looking down on me because I'm inferior since I don't know what they do, or educate me about something their passionate about. Which would you rather have?

I think the underlying message of the article is that success doesn't necessarily go to the guy with the highest grade level of writing, and that we have to dig past snobbery to understand why some things work and some don't.

I don't get this from this article and nowhere does it say anything like this.

It opens with: "Have you ever read a newspaper article or Time magazine piece from the 1940s and thought to yourself, "Wow, this article is so intelligently written. The writing in modern mags and papers seems dumbed down in comparison." If so, you'd be right."

So this article is going to be about how things are dumbed down-and how that's detectable, right?

Then it ends with:
"So what's the point of this musing? It's to ask our readers what their level of comprehension is - and what they prefer. Do you consider yourself game snobs? Web snobs? Am I right that ZP is funny on multiple levels.... Or is it really just all about the codpiece?"

Those are where you hit the hammers, right? Opening and closing. English essay 101.

At which point are you asking or suggesting that we need to dig past snobbery in order to understand why things work and others don't? Where are you asking or suggesting people should reach up instead of down? Not just in the opening/closing, but in the article itself? Your tone indicates that people who aren't 'snobs', 'astute enough' and so forth can be left behind-off reading Kotaku, or something else. Is that what you want to encourage?

Hell, you don't even justify your OWN claims when you say things like "Even the difference between Britney Spears and Christina Aguilera is the difference between music that can be enjoyed at just a low level of comprehension (Britney's) and music that can be enjoyed at both a higher and lower level (Christina's)."

Where is Christina working a high-low scheme, and how? If you'd said Radiohead, or Johnny Cash I'd get it because there is a huge body of critical work that will support your statement, not to mention worldwide success but one pop queen over another, without any demonstration or reference beyond your say so? I won't be buying that argument because it doesn't tell me what snobbery I have to get around in order to appreciate the high of Aguilera.

More importantly, why does everything have to work a high-low scheme? This seems to be what you suggest should happen, but why? Would Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire really be better with dick jokes?

I am a geek, reading is a geek skill, ergo I try to do it well.

I iz ah edumacated.

Okay, I just did a quick experiment on the Gunning Fog Index using one of my posts from an unrelated topic. My chunk of writing had eight sentences and was fairly clear and understandable. So, I plugged it into the Gunning Fog Index, and it was rated at a 10.7 which I thought sounded reasonable. I then replaced two periods with commas and conjunctions and had the writing re-evaluated. This time, 13.3 was the rating!

Just imagine the rating if I had ZERO PUNTUATION. Long, never-ending sentences are a bad thing and display a real lack of writing style. I don't think we should equate a high Gunning Fog Index with intelligent, well-crafted writing. Perhaps anything rated over a 10 suggests that you're doing something wrong.

(this piece of writing here, rated at 9.3)

Okay, I just did a quick experiment on the Gunning Fog Index using one of my posts from an unrelated topic, and my chunk of writing had eight sentences and was fairly clear and understandable, so I plugged it into the Gunning Fog Index, and it was rated at a 10.7 which I thought sounded reasonable before I then replaced two periods with commas and conjunctions and had the writing re-evaluated, and this time, 13.3 was the rating!

Just imagine the rating if I had ZERO PUNTUATION since long, never-ending sentences are a bad thing and display a real lack of writing style, and I don't think we should equate a high Gunning Fog Index with intelligent, well-crafted writing, and perhaps anything rated over a 10 suggests that you're doing something wrong.

(this crappy piece of writing here, rated at 17.7!)

Where is Christina working a high-low scheme, and how? If you'd said Radiohead, or Johnny Cash I'd get it because there is a huge body of critical work that will support your statement, not to mention worldwide success but one pop queen over another, without any demonstration or reference beyond your say so? I won't be buying that argument because it doesn't tell me what snobbery I have to get around in order to appreciate the high of Aguilera.

Aguilera's singing range is extraordinary. Britney is just auto-tuned. Unless you have been trained to appreciate vocals, you likely won't notice the difference. Those who appreciate amazing vocals are generally in awe of her vocal talent, and feel that comparisons to Britney are incredibly insulting to Aguilera. Ergo, it's a classic example of how someone can be high-low. Many "Christina fans" have no idea of the true extent of her skills, and just lump her in with Britney and other "produced" pop sounds.

More importantly, why does everything have to work a high-low scheme? This seems to be what you suggest should happen, but why? Would Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire really be better with dick jokes?

Given the fact that Jane Austen sells better with zombies, I suspect Gibbon probably would sell better with dick jokes, I'm afraid.

Anyway, as to your other points, not every piece of writing has to follow the format you learned in English Essay 101. Leo Strauss, Plato, and lots of other fine writers have penned essays in a roundabout style that doesn't feel constrained to linearly express their main point, weaves in sarcasm, and dances around their thesis while leaving the reader to draw their own conclusions as to what they are to believe. While I can't claim their mastery, I certainly don't feel bound by the format you seem to want me to follow. Beyond that, I will avoid attacking the quality of your writing in the way you've attacked mine; let's move on.

Great article. I've worked at a couple of newspapers and the comprehension score is definitely something we thought about. We aimed for 9th grade level at each despite very different reader education demographics.

Iznat:
Huh, interesting to think about. We don't have that system here in Ireland (as far as I know) but I just went over two essays I've done for English, and I got level 16-17, so I might be off :p

It's weird to think that in order to appeal to the masses, they simplified something that is so important - the news. Why would people not want to know what was happening across the world?

I think it's important not to confuse the writing level with the content you can convey. It's more difficult to convey complex concepts with simpler words and grammar, but it doesn't limit the topics you can discuss. It also makes sense for the medium; newspapers, news blogs, and trashy novels are made to be read quickly. Ease of reading is key and even if you have a higher reading comprehension, it can be more pleasurable to read something at a consistently lower level.

GoodApprentice:
(this crappy piece of writing here, rated at 17.7!)

You can game the system, for sure. But I think its inarguable that it, and similar algorithms, do measure *something* about the complexity of writing. The open question, and the one I didn't answer in my article (much to some people's upset!) is whether it's a good or bad thing.

I suppose really what we should ask is: If a concept is so complex that it can be best explained in complex language, should we dumb down the concept so we can dumb down the language, or leave the concept and the language complex?

For instance, if a foreign word or phrase - let's say the Latin phrase "noblesse oblige" -- best conveys the sense you seek to convey, would you use it, or find a simpler substitute, like "duty"? To say that Churchill had a sense of noblesse oblige is different than to say he had a sense of duty, because the former suggests that his sense is derived from a position of superiority relative to those he has a duty to, while duty by itself does not make this assertion. I could have a sense of duty to my boss, for instance, but I cannot have a sense of noblesse oblige to my boss.

I'd throw the current popular feelings about stand up comedy into this argument too, there's quite the backlash against Michael Macintyre, and before that, people bashing Lee Evans, Peter Kay etc, seemingly just because they're popular and fill stadiums rather than small theatres.

Now, if you've watched one of their shows, and didn't like it, feel free to criticise, but I sense a lot of it is a form of snobbery, essentially going 'I'm not going to like him because millions of other people do', combined with the fact that they're all fairly mainstream and not going to be offensive.

Yet I know I'm just as guilty, pretty much writing off all popular music as not worth bothering with, just because Simon Cowell exists, which part of me knows is stupid, sure, there's a lot of dross, but there's going to be some gems, and I think deep down, EVERYONE loves some pop music, even if they won't admit it to friends. There's got to be a few singles you like grudgingly, even tho (maybe because?) they're dumb glitzy nonsense.

"I suppose really what we should ask is: If a concept is so complex that it can be best explained in complex language, should we dumb down the concept so we can dumb down the language, or leave the concept and the language complex?"

No, we should not dumb down the concept or the language since both are vital for personal growth, but neither should we dumb down the process of language analysis and experience with something as horribly flawed and soulless as the Gunning Fog Index.

I really enjoy your articles by the way. Keep up the great work!

I say screw the people who can't count to 10 on two hands. If they can't be bothered to learn the difference between a verb an an adverb why should the rest of us suffer?

Yeah, I'm a snob. And damn proud of it.

While I think the use of "snob" in the article is of dubious accuracy it's not exactly the keystone of the topic. Arguing about its perfect usage in this discussion is making a mountain out of a molehill, or possibly demonstrating one's existence as a linguistics snob (which, on occasion, I am myself, but I try to keep it on a leash when it's not productive in the midst of an ongoing dialog).

Second, the earlier rendition of the end to I Am Legend is off.

The movie's still an obvious and drastic departure from the story but reading the version given in the earlier post made me squirm in my seat. Had to fix.

There, have I delayed long enough? To the article itself then: comprehension of English has always been at the forefront of my abilities and I rather enjoy clever wordplay, puns, verbosity with a wide range of vocabulary and so forth. ZP hits a number of buttons in that regard with the addition of visual gags as well - something I don't think the article touched on at all. Surely articles written at a higher "grade level" would be more easily digestible if they were set alongside pictures that demonstrate and support the written points as well?

Someone who might not necessarily understand exactly what Yahtzee's saying - whether due to his enunciation or the specific words used - has a fair chance of getting the point regardless given it's usually spoken over a fitting image for the point. Having multiple sensory inputs at work is almost always a good thing for upping overall audience understanding of the ideas being expressed, yes? Curious this wasn't explored. Then again, I suppose there's only so much room for exploration in a single article with word counts, audience attention span and such to consider.

I find it's the little jokes in ZP that usually stick in my brain later on. For instance, in the Bioshock 2 review, his second alternative to rescuing Little Sisters being introduced via "alternatively alternatively" which, in visual form, is given as alternatively backwards. Not exactly subtle, but it's a throwaway joke you'd miss if you're not paying attention to the briefly-displayed visual jokes running in tandem with the constant audible fun with words. ZP is full of these (I could give more examples, perhaps from the several in the Orange Box review listed in the article, but I'd wager anyone reading this already knows what I'm on about) and they're fun, even good for replays to see if you missed anything the first time through. Does this have any correlation to the reading level of the clip? No idea, but it works for me.

Well, I'm not planning on throwing any over-protracted words out here, but I have, on occasion, received funny looks from using "big words" in casual conversation. Easy way to get yourself socially distanced, with a strong social influence to conform to standard speech patterns - which in itself is a shame. It's becoming socially unacceptable to make full use of your language, which in itself should be unacceptable.

Not that I'm advocating that we all take English lessons from Cameron of the 'Gap Yah' guy on Youtube, but I would have thought that over time education standards would progress to the stage where the population as a whole is becoming better educated. Perhaps magazines should try gradually increasing the sophistication of their language, and maybe years down the line (gasp) peoples' literacy standards might improve!

Rather good read.

I got both of the references you mentioned in ZP, and I understood your article about Agency (and found it quite interesting as well).

However, I find appreciating high comprehension media is just tiring.. I'd much rather read Harry Potter then Lord of the Rings.. Watch Pineapple Express instead of Citizen Kane.

It's not about being too stupid (and I know that's not what you meant either, it's not about being stupid or brilliant, but I'm going to use the term stupid for now for brevity (and an aside to this aside, I think using the term brevity probably notched this particular post up at least 1 grade-level)).. It just takes too much energy to think hard about stuff like that.. I'm capable of doing it, and if it's something I want to read (I LOVE the check for traps column, and I LOVE ZP, so I put in the effort to understand it), then I will do it.

But I'd much rather, if given the choice, watch something dumb then something smart.. Just so I can enjoy the trip, and not just the discourse at the end of it, talking it over with people who are probably smarter then I.

EDIT: oh yeah, I totally laughed at the force-feedback codpiece line. The man is truly a genius.

I'm quite surprised with this. I wasn't expecting a read as good as this for some reason, but I'm pleasantly surprised.

Also, what level of comprehension would this article be? I completely understood all of it, and I'm seriously wondering what the level of your average American is viewed as if a foreigner has no problems with things way above that average.

That was an enlightening insight into how newspapers and the like write their columns to ensure the largest amount of people can understand it while still providing decent writing. I knew that newspapers had standards like this, but I had no idea there was actually a mathematical way to determine the difficulty of a work of literature.

That said, the fact that Edward Gibbon's Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire is considered 16th grade material makes me feel sad. I find it hard to believe that, according to this index, most people can't understand it. I've read one volume of his work last year when I was a freshmen in highschool and I understood practically all of it. Granted, some words I had to look up in a dictionary to find the exact meaning of, but there weren't that many.

Hurr Durr Derp:
But... what if I'm a toilet humor snob?

Is there even such a thing as a 14th level poop joke?

Hmm... I think LRR's "Paper Boy" video came pretty close.

As for the actual article... huh... Yahtzee's writing is bit higher than I expected... hey, most of his early videos did have plenty of sophomoric dirty jokes.

I truly have no idea what level my reading comprehension is,but I'm pretty sure it's higher than 9th grade. Mostly due to the fact that...wait...I can't back up that claim at all. Oh well, at least I understand nearly all of the jokes on ZP...I think...

I really liked the article - I just love to learn something unexpected as that (I mean, reading compreension on a gaming site, who 'd have tought of that?). I really don't have much to add on the topic (everybody loves ZP and all that, that's for sure).
Anyway, a little off-topic, but I can't stop wondering know: could that logic be aplied to gaming too? I mean, some people like sports games, some just like web-based puzzles,, and some play MMORPGS complex as hell and despise everything else...
What do you think?

This is a FANTASTIC article! I just felt the need to proclaim that truth to the world.

Goremocker:
I truly have no idea what level my reading comprehension is,but I'm pretty sure it's higher than 9th grade. Mostly due to the fact that...wait...I can't back up that claim at all. Oh well, at least I understand nearly all of the jokes on ZP...I think...

Even the one about unicycle-riding bears and Proust? Pah, I think not.

how come when i talk to people that actually play games i dont mean just halo and stuff they seem to be alot more intellective and i really really REALLY hate talking to someone that does not know that much

edit: really zp is that high. is it really that hard to understand what he is saying i like it quite alot

First off, I really enjoyed this article. The topic was something I've never really given much thought to, but it does reaffirm my belief that we need to speak more plainly when it comes to conveying information. There is nothing lost in translation when using common words.

I find that many academics almost subconsciously try and speak above others to avoid having the "less educated" successfully challenge their points of view. I wonder how short most debates would become if people just used more conventional language.

With all media, there is a target audience in mind. The broader the audience, the more "accessible" the content needs to be. When it comes to conveying information, there shouldn't be any argument against simplicity (accessibility), but when it's purely for entertainment purposes, then it can be whatever it wants to be. What one person finds entertaining compared to the next is completely subjective.

My main thing is this. It's great to be well educated and read but if your readers are having to consult a dictionary every five minutes then your going to lose them. I'm not saying that you should dumb things down to level of a kids book but you should know your audiance. If your trying to appeal to fans of 1st person shooters then you shouldn't write like your teaching a 400 level course...I'm not saying people who like FPS's are stupid, i'm just saying don't assume their all college grads.

Zedzero:

Divine Miss Bee:
well, my reading level has been tested at around 20.7, so very little goes over my head when it comes to comprehension. that doesn't mean i don't enjoy some of the lower-level stuff. sometimes i just don't feel like thinking that hard, which is something i don't think your researchers take into account.

also, ZP owns at smart and dumb humor!

-looks at your Grammar-...20.7 eh....

My writing varies my word basically tells me the level it is written at it varies around grade 9-11, even though I'm grade 12 so meh, I still get 80s so why should I care?

you're mocking MY grammar, mr. run-on-sentence-with-an-otherwise-independent-clause-ending-in-a-preposition? lol-nice.

(you're probably on about my lack of capitalization, which has nothing to do with my grammar-it's the online equivalent to speaking softly, as i do in real life.)

JaredXE:
Huh, I've read Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire and I understood it. I also haven't finished college yet, so that index is wrong.

Or I'm reeeaaaalllllyyy smart. One of those two.

And yes, Yahtzee is a big literary fag. And I appreciate that because I am a literary fag too. So of course his ZP bits are entertaining, especially to those who get all his jokes and aren't laughing because the british man is talking funny.

My father wrote about that book while at Staff College in the UK. I read it in college too. It is a fantastic book and well worth the read. Unlike the majority of media products these days.

Oh, and on a side note. Does this mean Fox news in written in 4th grade? I bet MSNBC just has to be a little better than them, that means it has to be a 5th grade at least.

Good article, even if it makes me a tiny bit sad inside to know that we've been purposefully dumbing ourselves down. I don't consider myself a snob in the context of the article because I consume both high and low end media, but I also am aware of making the switch. Sometimes I'll throw in Twelve Angry Men to make my brain happy, and other times I'll put in Transformers because I want to watch shit blow up, completely aware of what I'm getting.

The point about music appreciation was also very interesting because it made me realize that's something I do without really being aware of it--which most likely stems from ten plus years of playing in an orchestra. But again, my playlist probably has just as much Bach as it does Lady Gaga. Well. Maybe slightly more Bach.

I guess it's like comparing a twinkie to a fine pastry. You know that the twinkie isn't as good, but sometimes all you want is a quick hit of sugar. It seems the majority of people right now are twinkie junkies.

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