Jan 31, 2016

Vowels in the top million websites

Vowels in the top million websites
1 Billion Websites! That is the number of indexed websites that exist on the internet, as per the estimations of dazeinfo and Dailymail.

New websites are constantly being added. What is surprising is that the top million often remains unchanged.

Alexa provides data for the top 1 million best performing websites of the world. But, is there something other than amazing content, Beautiful fonts or super intelligent color combinations that pull users towards websites or is it something entirely unrelated? What about the size of the website name.

It is a common knowledge that users often dread typing in long lines of text in the address bar. Many would argue, that with the advent of "Search from the bar" type of browsers, users need not type-in the complete url anymore. However, a longer website name might strain the memory.

What is the perfect domain name?
The Garage at godady.com shared a few tips for fishing the perfect domain name. According to them, the first and the foremost condition one must remember is that a domain name must be really easy to type. You should also keep it simple, utilise keywords and avoid numbers.

The top million out of a billion is 0.1%. So, let’s find out what does the data say about the top 0.1% of all websites in the world.

Word Length

For any URL of the format, ., the website name is most important, as it defines the website, makes it visible and gives it an identity. Lets find out what our analysis says about website name.

Word Length of website and frequency

Firstly, It was found that the frequency of website followed a typical Gaussian curve while attaining the peak at around 7-8 letters. About 100,000 websites within the top million had a word length of 7-8 letters. It is also imperative to note that though we've reached the peak at 7-8 letters, there still exist websites that have lengths of more than 20 letters!

Vowel Length

Now, can you think of 20 letter English word? I tried and could find the word ABSTEMIOUSNESSES, (a 16 letter word). What is really, interesting is that, a website with a name longer than most can imagine still features among the top million in the world.

Total number of Vowels and Website Frequency

Another interesting observation is that the number of vowels in websites too followed a Gaussian curve. The most common number of vowels in a website name is 3. In the million websites, 10% of them had a single vowel. It is also worth mentioning that 36,000 websites do not even have a vowel.

Of course, there are websites with more than 10 vowels in them, but nothing can be said without comparing the total length of such names. So, to understand the data better, we divide the number of vowels with the total number of letters in the word. 

Vowels as a percentage of Word length

Since, analysis of such huge data set is difficult, we would divide the complete vowel data into bands of 0.2 or 20% each.

Vowels as a percentage of Word length Example

One look at Vowel percentage and website frequency data would tell us that for most websites, 40 percent of the word length is a vowel and 60% is a consonant.

Vowel percentage and website frequency

Moving towards the exceptions, more than 500 websites in our data-set contains 80-100 percent vowels. Also, as mentioned above, 36,000 websites do not have any vowels at all, i.e. 3.6%. Finally, around 90% of websites lie in the band of 0.2 to 0.6.

In Conclusion,

After analyzing the top million websites we find that,
  1. Most websites have a word length of 8 words
  2. Most websites have a vowel length of 3 words
  3. Most websites have 20-40% of their name as vowel
Finally, You can still have an amazing website even when your website name does not have a vowel or is filled with vowels.

This was all about,
Vowels in the top million websites mohitchar

Nov 11, 2015

An experiment on user response to Colors

An experiment on user response to Colors
This is an ongoing study on the change in perception of users to colors. An excellent infographic from kissmetrics and webscout implored for a change in color combinations on webpages to elicit certain responses from the viewers. 

To exemplify, red denotes energy and passion, however, yellow displays enthusiasm. So one can use such colors based on the visitor demographics you receive. For websites catering to passionate readers, red or black could be the ideal color choice. You could utilize such colors on areas that require action such as "Buy Now" buttons or "Subscribe Now" Buttons. 

On the other hand, if you cater to a more refined and mature audience, the usage of extreme colors might actually hamper changes of conversion. E-commerce websites have been using such methods from time immemorial in the hopes of luring impulsive buyers.

Banner BeforeBanner After

However, such a technique was attempted on codemakit.com itself when the banner color was changed. The banner color was initially an 8 bit variation of black itself. To include the above mentioned strategy, the banner color was changed to varients of red and blue.

The modification in the color of the main banner was made on 18th of August 2015. Data analysed were for a month before the modification and a month after. Hence the data corresponds to number of sessions and the bounce rates for 60 days.

Relation between Variables before and after Change

As can be seen, there was mild increase in the number of sessions per day and a slight decrease in the bounce rate. 

Though the change corresponded to a positive effect, It is not substantial and more changes are required,

Further Reading.

You can read more about colors and how they affect websites from our previous articles.

Interested about colors? Find how change in font colors can affect your reader mood?

This was,
An experiment on user response to Colors MohitChar

Aug 3, 2015

Why do Black and White images look awesome?

Why do Black and White images look awesome? Front
In the world of filters I had often wondered why do black and white images look so cool. You would find them on website front pages, birthday cards, magazines and what not.

But the mystery surrounding the human obsession about the binary colors seem unexplained at best. What is it in those colors that attracts us?

Why do pictures in black and white look more beautiful than their colored counterparts?

There are several reasons to begin with, Lets have a look at some of them.


Images in black and white are so uncluttered, clear and devoid of unnecessary distractions. The crux of the image or the main focus becomes painfully obvious when seen in black and white. In colored images the said crux is easy to mix. This phenomenon can be extrapolated to explain why paintings with minimal colors are often the ones valued extraordinarily.

See beyond,

Images in black and white are often used to help viewers see beyond the image itself. The patterns, textures and depth suddenly becomes obvious in a BW picture. Suddenly the curves, valleys and peaks become relevant and provide a new perspective to the image.

More Objectivity

We often attribute many of our emotions to the things we see around us. It is said that we subconsciously attribute our emotions to colors around us. For Example, red is often attributed to passions, green is attributed to envy, yellow with prosperity (or at least that is what we are led to believe in India). When looking at BW images, we are free of our individual biases and hence see the subject with much clarity.

Why do Black and White images look awesome?

Higher Visual interaction

Though partially correct, there is more to the explanation given above than that seems on surface. When seeing a B/W image, we see what we want to and not what the photographer wanted us to. This leads to a much higher visual interaction than the brain planned on having with the image. This is what interests it and the image suddenly looks a lot beautiful because now it means something. To illustrate the idea further, let us consider an image of a fruit basket, when you look at it, your mind will immediately start filling the requisite colors in the image and piece together information from your past experiences to make the picture look whole again, this will inevitably lead to higher brain functioning than expected and thereby lead to a piqued interest altogether.

Related Reading,

Using the concepts above, you too can create an awesome ebook cover,

This was an answer to,
Why do Black and White images look awesome? MohitChar

Jul 21, 2015

A Chat at InsideIIM

A Chat at InsideIIM front
A place meant for the young and the smart. A place brimming with life experiences of students as they pass another great hurdle of life, an MBA.

InsideIIM started as a blog which has now transformed into "The Management Education University of the future". Over the years, this website was one of the chosen few which actually made a difference in the lives of its readers. The funny thing is that its founders too strive towards the same. 

InsideIIM boasts of the best talent in the country and grows larger year after year. The major services provided by the website are content (Student Stories + Chat forum) and Placements & Recruitment. They have collaborated with several institutions and organisations to connect prospective students and employees with their dreams.

Now without further ado, lets find out more about the website and the services from Ankit, one of the founders of InsideIIM.

On the Website

Mohit: I bet, your "What's worth reading?" posts are a real crowd puller. How much is the truth behind it and what importance do you give to similar posts which lead your readers towards external websites?

Ankit: I don't know what you mean by truth but we are here to solve a problem for our users. Our users want curated quality content. Shreyas does it and we are happy to do it even if it send traffic to other sites. InsideIIM is a platform and our aim is to solve our users problem whichever way possible. What's worth reading is very popular and Shreyas Panse is a star.

Mohit: Good to hear it Ankit, Currently, you have a lot of stories at insideiim.com with several of them written by your own authors. Do you ever feel the need to revise a previous article?

Ankit: Data based stories need a revision but personal stories and opinions no

On Growth Strategy

Mohit: I once overheard a discussion at Quora which said, "InsideIIM covers only crème de la crème of B-Schools", do you strive and pride yourself at being an elitist website, or was it by an accident?

Ankit: Over 80% of the content is user generated. There is no design to involve only the supposedly top ranked schools. But when we started we had to start with a limited set of schools. Today the platform is open to all business schools. Any student from any part of the world can write and we will publish. There is no intentional elitism. But the name became catchy so we stuck with it.

On Business

Mohit: For the sake of my readers we'll come to the business part, what is the revenue model of insideiim.com? OR How do you decide which revenue source to act upon?

Ankit: Advertising and Recruitment. We help business school and universities reach out to too talent. We help companies recruit top talent. Currently we don't charge students or users anything.

Mohit: On a blog of your stature, I'm curious about the source of the majority of your readers (Is it through Email Marketing, Google Advertisements, Organic Growth Or some other method?)
Ankit: People keep recommending our content on Facebook. Also our content is highly relevant or Google gives us better discoverability. Emailer came in very [late] because until. 2013 late we didn't even have proper registration on the site

On Making a Difference

A Chat at InsideIIM Ankit
Mohit: Being an active part of many aspiring students' lives, How does it feel when students attribute their successes to insideiim.com?

Ankit: We didn't make any money in the first 12 - 18 months. That's what kept us going and it still keeps us going.

Mohit: With the ripples you're creating, I'm sure you affecting millions of lives indirectly. Thank you so much for your candid responses. We'll wrap-up here, but the readers can ask Ankit by commenting below. I'll make sure your questions reach InsideIIM.

You can visit InsideIIM at their official website, their facebook page and twitter handle too.

Note. The author is pleased to divulge that though the interaction with the founders for the interview went on for about 3 months, it was in a scheduled public chat forum when the author finally got a hold of Ankit.

This was,
A Chat at InsideIIM MohitChar

Apr 27, 2015

Relation Between Page Views and Syllables, A Comparison

Page Views and Syllables, A Comparison
How do syllables lead to difference in page views? Does the number of syllables in a passage actually make the reader's job difficult or easy? 

There aren't enough things that can be modified by a writer. But the short list would include definitely include syllables.

Syllable in the simplest of form can be called as a unit of tone itself. When you pronounce 'SOBER' you actually combine two different syllables, 'SO' and 'BER'. 

How does it matter you ask?

Many people when reading often voice the text, which means they do not simply ingest the text through their eyes, but also pronounce the words in their mind. Hence, the words employing large number of text might pose a problem.
This might seem true logically, but there is another reasonining that might put you in a difficult position. Lower number of syllables might lead to a rough and dull passage, giving rise to lower readership.

So what should you do, let us find out through an experiment.

The Experiment,

28 separate articles, published on codemakit.com at different times in 2014 were tested using a simple readability scanner. The text in each article was scanned to find out the average number of syllables per unit word.

We'll now discuss the role, syllables play in gathering page views, which would be found out by checking if increasing the number of syllables per unit word leads to higher or lower page views.

Relation between Syllables per word and page views

The provides a very different picture altogether about how the changes in syllables can lead to differences in the page views (pageviews)

Relation between Syllables per word and page views Graph

TO understand it further, we need to compare it quantitatively.

Changes in page Views with No. of Syllables per word

Total number of articles compared = 28

Number of articles were number of syllables per word were proportional to page views = 11
Percentage of instances where number of sentences were proportional to page views = 11/28 = 40%
So, percentage of instances where Average number of syllables per word were proportional to page views = 17/28 = 60%

Thus the average number of syllables per word can be directly proportional to the page views. However, this must be seen in moderation and cannot be taken as a rule of thumb.


Number of Syllables per unit word is directly proportional Page views.

Related Reading

To find more about the above topic, you can check out The Relation between Reading ease and Viewership through an experiment on Reading ease.
Do you want to know, how to calculate the readability of a passage?

You can also find simple relations like,
The relation between Page Views and Sentence Length,

This was about,
Page Views and Syllables, A Comparison MohitChar

Apr 20, 2015

Relation Between Page Views and Sentence Length, A Comparison

Page Views and Sentence Length, A Comparison
Can you read really long sentences? Can you digest a sentence containing 50 words? We have seen in a previous article that higher complexity leads to lower number of visitors. 

What happens when you use long sentences in a webpage? What is the optimum number of words a sentence must contain to ensure maximum user retention and interaction? Let us start with an example.

Sample A

Here is a really long sentence,

"The amount of visitors on a webpage is actually dependent on a number of factors which include the web owner's search engine optimization practices, his writing quality and his repo with the swarming visitors at his personal blog"

Let us analyze Sample A.
Sample A is a single sentence containing 38 words. A normal sentence that can be easily understood by a reader can range from 10-20 words. Usually a sentence with a large number of words and phrases taxes and stretches a reader's brain.
More often than not, a sentence with large number of words is avoided by readers. Also such sentences are absolutely abhorred by readers looking for a light reading.
The sample was excruciatingly long and might have prevented many of my readers to go and read sample B which further increased this page's bounce rates ##;

Sample B

Here is the short version of the above text,

"Number of visitors is proportional to SEO, content and visitor interactions"

Let us analyze Sample B.
Sample B contains 11 words which is easily digestible. The reader can easily deduce that page views depend on the 3 factors only. People looking for a light reading will not be disappointed by the text and might even look forward to reading more.

The Experiment,

Moving back to the experiment, 28 articles, published on codemakit.com in 2014 were tested using a readability scanner. This article would talk about the role, the number of sentences play in gathering page views.
We would check if increasing the number of sentences or number of words would lead to higher or lower page views.

Relation Between number of sentences or words and page views

The number of sentences and page views can be compared using the graph above. As is evident, sans a few irregularities, the numbers of sentences do correlate with the number of page views. TO delve into it further, it is required to understand the problem, quantitatively,

Relation Between number of sentences and page views Graph

Total number of articles compared = 28

Number of articles were number of sentences were proportional to page views = 15
Percentage of instances where number of sentences were proportional to page views = 15/28 = 53%

Relation Between number of words and page views

Changes in Page Views with Number of Words

Number of articles were number of words were proportional to page views = 13
Percentage of instances where number of words were directly proportional to page views = 13/28 = 39%
So, percentage of instances where number of words were inversely proportional to page views = 13/28 = 61%

Thus it can be clearly deduced from both sentences that the number of sentences/ words has nothing to do with respect to pages views and that a really long sentence is equally probable to receive thundering applause as a really short one.

So lowering the number of sentences / Words at your blog can be disastrous as Google's panda updates view them seriously and often impose large penalties on WebPages publishing pages after pages with a really small amount of content.

But simply considering the number of sentences as the defining parameter in a text can be disastrous.
Consider the case of a webpage which contains sentences of the length of Sample A. Evaluating such long sentences would ensure huge number of words but would undermine the fact that the number of sentences have reduced drastically. Hence we need another type of parameter that assesses both the number of words and the number of sentences.

Relation between average number of words per sentence and page views

Graph Relation between average number of words per sentence and page views

Changes in pageviews with words per sentence

Hence comparing the average number of words per sentence page views was required. Average number of words per sentence is actually equal to the ratio of number of words and number of sentences. It tells about the number of words per unit sentence.

Formula image Relation between average number of words per sentence and page views

Number of articles were number of sentences were proportional to page views = 15
Percentage of instances where number of sentences were proportional to page views = 11/28 = 61%

Thus the average number of words per unit sentence can be effectively said to be directly proportional to the page views. However, this must be seen in moderation and cannot be taken as a rule of thumb.


Page Views are directly proportional to the number of words.
Page views are also directly proportional to the number of words per unit sentences.

Related Reading

Learn how to calculate the readability of your blog or website pages, you could also mechanically grade your essays too!

This was about,

Apr 6, 2015

How to calculate the readability of a passage

The engine at read-able.com performs its function flawlessly when you add some text to be analyzed. 

The following text is from an article on "4 crucial facts Google Analytics can tell about your readers". And the following are the results after assessing the piece of text.

As can be seen from the table itself, several parameters are calculated on the text. An explanation with the formula for each parameter can be found below.

Simple Textual Properties of the passage

Text Statistics Value
No. of sentences 7
No. of words 163
No. of complex words 16
Percent of complex words 9.82%
Average words per sentence 23.29
Average syllables per word 1.45

No. of sentences
Simply counting the number of full stops along with an algorithm

No. of words
Simply counting the number of spaces along with an algorithm

No. of complex words
I have no Idea, what can be construed as a complex word and what cannot. In my opinion, there must be a threshold number of characters in a word, exceeding which; the word can be construed as a complex word.

Percent of complex words
It can be calculated with the ratio of number of complex words to the number of total words.
The following is a valid formula for the same,
Percentage of Complex Words = ( ( number of complex words / Total Number of Words ) x 100 )

Average words per sentence
It can be calculated simply by dividing the number of words with the number of sentences
Average Words Per sentence = ( Number of Words / Number of sentences )

Average syllables per word
Syllable is a single unit of a word, separated in accordance with its sound. If you type 'Gutter" you have two syllables "Gut" and "ter". So the word "Gutter" will have two syllables.
A valid formula for the same can be

Scores found through empirical Formulas

Readability Indices Value
Flesch Kincaid Reading Ease 60.7
Flesch Kincaid Grade Level 10.6
Gunning Fog Score 13
SMOG Index 8.8
Coleman Liau Index 11.1
Automated Readability Index 11.7

Flesch–Kincaid Scores
Flesch–Kincaid readability test indicates the difficulty in understanding a text. They use word length and sentence length as parameters for their calculations.
The scale ranges from 0 to 100. Higher the score, easier is the text to read. If you receive a really low score, it means that the text is really complicated and hard to understand.
Flesch–Kincaid Score = 206.835 - 1.015 x (Words/sentences) - 84.6 x (Syllables/words)

Gunning Fog Score
Gunning Fog Index is simply the number of years of formal study; a typical US student would have undergone to understand the text written. So if you get a fog index of 11, it would mean that a typical US student of about 17 years would comprehend the subject completely.
The following is the formula for the same.
Fog Index = 0.4 x ( (Words/sentences) + 100 x (complex Words/Words) )

SMOG Grade
SMOG is a short form of Simple Measure of Gobbledygook. Just as Fog index measured the years of schooling required to interpret a piece of text for US based students, SMOG index can be applied anywhere.
The following is a formula for the same.
SMOG Index = 1.0430 x square root (30 x complex Words/sentences) + 3.1291

Coleman–Liau index
This index is also used to determine the difficulty of text. It uses only the number of letters per 100 words and the average number of sentences per 100 words.
The following is a formula for the same.
Coleman–Liau index = 0.0588(letters per 100 words) - 0.296(sentences per 100 words) - 15.8

Automated Readability Index
It takes in parameters as average characters per unit word and the average number of words per unit sentences.
Automated Readability Index = 4.71 (Characters/Words) + 0.5(Words/Sentences) - 2.43

Related Reading,

Here's a codemakit research article on the relation between readability and viewership.

This was about,

Mar 30, 2015

A Dialogue with Allie from Grammarly

A Dialogue with Allie from Grammarly Front
English Grammar is a vexing concept that comes into use at every turn in your digital life. It is here, you often encounter Grammar Nazis who would tear you limb to limb if you're found with a wrong grammar construct or a misspelled word. 

You just cannot afford the time and energy to check every comment and every blabber by copying and pasting it into Microsoft word, just to check for mistakes. It simply seems too much work.

Introducing Grammarly, a service that can correct you anywhere, from typing in the hostile depths of social networks chained within 140 words, or replying to a racist comment at Facebook to mailing your boss about why you didn't submit the report.

We have with us Allison VanNest, Director of Public Relations at Grammarly. She seems petrifying, but trust me, Allie is a really bright and considerate professional who agreed to take time out of her busy schedule to let us trouble her with our questions.

The Office at GrammarlyLet me start with Grammarly first. It is a really efficient service that helps you write correct grammar in your everyday communications. The service works on several platforms and instantly points you towards an incorrect grammar construct or a misspelled word. You can then use it to provide correct alternatives to your incorrect sentence.

Grammarly is renowned worldwide as the best grammar checker there is. It was founded in 2009 by two entrepreneurs. Brad Hoover the CEO holds the reins of the san fransico based web service giant. The service can chekc more than 250 different types of grammatical errors that users often  make. The website boasts more than 3 million users as of 2015 and has an alexa rank of less than 4000.

Grammarly has performed consistently well at its job and hence, won too many awards and accolades to even mention here. However in august 2013, Grammarly was ranked number 344 on Inc. magazine’s 32nd annual Inc. 500 list, an exclusive ranking of the nation’s fastest-growing private companies. It was also the finalist in the “Best Bootstrapped Startup” category in the 8th Annual Crunchies Awards in Feb 2015.


Mohit: Tell us about the story of Grammarly, How did the idea take flight?

Allie: Grammar rules can be confusing, and they are constantly evolving. Grammarly was founded in 2008 by Alex Shevchenko and Max Lytvyn, both English language learners, to instantly and accurately provide written writing assistance to the more than two billion native and non-native English language speakers worldwide. The automated proofreading tool provides an easy way for students, professionals, job seekers, and English language learners to become more accurate English language writers.

About the Team

Mohit: Online service based companies are often depicted as geeky heaven with chocolate fountains, free food to sleeping pods. How is the work environment and culture at the offices of Grammarly?

Allie: At Grammarly, we codified our culture profile with one word -- EAGER. The goal is to have a memorable, understandable, and actionable company culture. While EAGER describes the attitude of Grammarly's team members, it’s also an acronym:
Ethical: Be honorable to earn trust. Do the right thing, even when no one is watching, without exception.
Adaptable: Embrace change, and learn in order to evolve and succeed. Apply a positive, problem-solving attitude.
Gritty: Demonstrate passion and perseverance for long-term goals, since persistence drives achievement. Do whatever it takes to get the job done, whenever it is necessary.
Empathetic: Treat others as you want to be treated, so we can work well together. Actively listen and put yourself in others’ shoes, and then respond accordingly.
Remarkable: Be recognized as exceptional yet humble, because talent drives impact. Seek out those who are exceptional and learn from them.
Although we have remarkable benefits at Grammarly – yoga, catered lunch, and more – we feel like the most important aspect of our work environment and culture is each other.

Tackling Competitors

Mohit: I'm sure you're aware that some websites have performed tests on Grammarly to check its accuracy. Some have found promising results (like me) but some (mostly rivals) have not. What is your opinion of such usage tests performed by individuals and rival firms on Grammarly?

Allie: We’re pleased you’ve found our product promising. The fact is that Grammarly’s ever-evolving algorithms work to accurately catch English spelling and grammar mistakes based on deviations from baseline grammar standards. For each potential issue flagged by Grammarly’s algorithms, users receive a detailed explanation so they can make an informed decision about how, and whether, to correct the mistake. While Grammarly’s algorithms are very powerful and constantly improving, they are not a replacement for a teacher or proofreader. Grammarly is an automated, cost-effective, and always-available tool to improve users’ English writing and skills.

On Social Networks

Mohit: You have a thriving Facebook community, which provides a platform for grammar discussions. With more than 4.5 million fans at facebook and nearing 2 million at Google plus, describe the challenges faced by your social media team in increasing and maintaining fans.

Allie: We actually don’t emphasize growing our social media fan base. It has been a fun thing for the team to watch, but it was never a sign of our success. Instead, Grammarly emphasizes engagement rates and reach. This has been the greatest challenge—to test, optimize, and adjust to make both our fans happy and the social algorithms. We’re just getting to know our audiences and responding. It’s just a conversation. Sometimes we say something wrong, but it informs how we say things moving forward.

On Business

Mohit: Cloud-based processing is often an advantage when you have exceedingly large algorithms to process the users' input. But this system often takes a hit in countries with no reliable internet connection. How do you propose to solve this?

Allie: Interestingly, some people who do have reliable access to the Internet are not able to make use of certain cloud-based tools for monetary reasons. That’s the first problem that the Grammarly team is tackling. Grammarly believes that quality writing improves confidence and credibility, and we know that everyone should have access to these personal and professional tools, regardless of income. 
Through the launch of Grammarly’s Chrome extension, we’re now offering our quality spelling- and grammar-checking tool for free to users of Google Chrome. We hope to extend this functionality in 2015 to other browsers so that any writer with a reliable Internet connection can improve their credibility and communication style.

Grammarly's Founders Alex and Max
Mohit: Note. For those without Chrome, Grammarly services can be accessed from various portals including the Grammarly Plug-in for Microsoft Office Software or Grammarly Words, a contextual online thesaurus or the Grammarly Editor at Grammarly.com

Here we conclude this interview. Allie, I would like to thank you for taking time out of your schedule to help us understand the nitty-gritty of a service-based business and introducing us to Grammarly, which quite simply is an exceptional piece of work.

Our readers can pitch questions to Allie through the comment section and I'll make sure the questions reach Allie.

Related Reading

You know we have our share of interviews with really successful entrepreneurs like the one we've discussed here. For example, you should read about one of my local we designers, i.e. Jetbro from The Den. Just like Alex and Max, we also have the geniuses at Degoo.com and at RescueTime who have developed a service of similar standards.

This was,
A Dialogue with Allie from Grammarly MohitChar

Mar 23, 2015

An Experiment on the Ease of Reading Text

An Experiment on the Ease of Reading Text Front
Though it is true that the real information about the quality of text can be collected by reading it, there exist better empirical ways to do that for you. To judge the text in accordance with such empirical methods require some raw data. 

For instance, the average number of words per unit sentence, the percentage of complex words in the text, and the average number of syllables per word.

To understand this even further, you would need to know what a syllable is. A syllable is basically a unit of sound in a word. Let us take an example; If you say the word 'maker', you are combining two syllables, 'ma' and 'ker'.
Now, the texts for this experiment were taken from various sources in different period of times.

The Study Participants

First we have Harold Pinter, Nobel Prize in Literature in 2005. The text was taken from his Noble Prize acceptance speech.
Second we have, Alison Munro, another noble laureate in the field of literature, who received the prize in 2013. Her style of writing is short stories and the text was taken from 'Passion' one of her popular short stories.
Third we have Amartya Sen, the Indian economist who received the Sveriges Riksbank Prize in Economic Sciences in 1998. The text was taken from his book, 'The Idea of Justice'.
Lastly, we have Oliver E Williamson, who received the Sveriges Riksbank Prize In Economic Sciences in 2009. He wrote a book on Transaction-Cost Economics: The Governance of Contractual Relation, from which the text was taken.

The Study

Now that we have introduced the participants of the study, we need to understand the reason for their selection. For both literature and economic laureates the idea was to include two types of passage with the amount of time varying as between 10 to 15 years. Also, the participants were to belong to different countries. This idea however proved inefficient as the noble laureates in Literature from different countries than US and England tend to write in languages different than English. Hence finding a laureate with major works in English was exceptionally difficult.

Analysis of the Results

It is true, not all text excerpts were of the same size, which is partly because of the difference in media and mode of text found. Speeches in particular need to be taken as a whole instead of small excerpts (Full chapter) from a book. Similarly, short stories should also be considered as a whole instead of a part.

Name of The nobel Laureate(Award Details) Harold Pinter (Nobel Prize in Literature 2005) Alison Munro(Nobel Prize in Literature 2013) Amartya Sen (The SverigesRiksbank Prize in Economic Sciences in Memory of Alfred Nobel 1998) Oliver E. Williamson (TheSveriges Riksbank Prize In Economic Sciences In Memory Of Alfred Nobel 2009)
Source of Text Nobel Lecture (Speech) December 7, 2005 Passion (Short Story), fromMarch 22, 2004 Issue of New Yorker The Idea of Justice (Book), The Belknap Press of Harvard University Press Cambridge, Massachusetts. Transaction-Cost Economics:The Governance Of Contractual Relation (Book), Oliver E. Williamson University Of Pennsylvania
Number of sentences 367 956 20 24
Number of words 4698 11460 636 527
Number of complex words 650 640 122 159
Percentage of complex words 13.84% 5.58% 19.18% 30.17%
Average words per sentence 12.8 11.99 31.8 21.96
Average syllables per word 1.53 1.3 1.64 1.94
Minimum age required to understand the text 13-14 Years 11-12 Years 21-22 Year 22-23 Years

As is evident, the percentage of complex words (methodology of counting which is still unknown) is considerably higher in the case of economists in comparison to the literature laureates. Similarly the average number of words per sentence too is about 3 times the ones used by laureates in literature.
Though the average syllables per word tends to increase as you use higher/ complex words, the average syllables per word for all four of our participants were comparable.

Hence According to the tests through read-able.com, the minimum age of any reader trying to read one of their typical texts range from 11 to 14 years for literature laureates. Hmm, their writings do not seem so tough to understand now. Also, the writings of economics laureates tend to fall within the range of 21 to 23 years.

Based on the raw data found in the previous table, one can determine these important indices to examine the text sample.

Advanced Tests

As per the results of Flesch Kincaid Reading Ease test, where a higher score means that the text is easier to read, you can see that due to the number of complex words, the score for economics Nobel laureates are considerably lower than their literature counterparts.

According to SMOG Index, Alison Munro's piece on passion depicted the use of simple words, thereby leading to better understanding of the text. The same can be correlated with the Coleman Liau Index with the highest for Oliver E. Williamson.

Parameter Nobel Laureates
Name Name of The nobel Laureate (Award Details) Harold Pinter (Nobel Prize in Literature 2005) Alison Munro (Nobel Prize in Literature 2013) Amartya Sen (The Sveriges Riksbank Prize in Economic Sciences in Memory of Alfred Nobel 1998) Oliver E. Williamson (The Sveriges Riksbank Prize In Economic Sciences In Memory Of Alfred Nobel 2009)
Source of Text Type of Text, Date/ source Nobel Lecture (Speech) December 7, 2005 Passion (Short Story), from March 22, 2004 Issue of New Yorker The Idea of Justice (Book), The Belknap Press of Harvard University Press Cambridge, Massachusetts. Transaction-Cost Economics: The Governance Of Contractual Relation (Book), Oliver E. Williamson University Of Pennsylvania
Flesch Kincaid Reading Ease (A high score means the text is easier to read) 64.4 84.6 35.4 20.2
SMOG Index Greater the Score, tougher the text 7.8 5 14.2 14.8
Coleman Liau Index Shows the Grade of student required 10.8 8.1 13.4 17.8

Related Reading

You can check out our article on the relationship between reading ease and viewership here.

This was,
MohitChar An Experiment on the Ease of Reading Text

Mar 16, 2015

Auto Grammar Check, Grammarly, A Review

Auto Grammar Check, Grammarly, A Review
Word Processing softwares like Microsoft word are simply awesome in correcting your essays, reports and business letters. But, not all mistakes are picked up by such softwares. Reason, they're not made for sentence corrections. They're made to help you type, change font sizes, colors etc. But checking grammatical compositions? I don’t think so.

During one such endeavor, I stumbled upon Grammarly. Really neat pieces of online software which can scan your text and help you modify it according to the correct grammatical rules. This article is a reality check for Grammarly and its services.

Let us check out Grammarly's features.

  • Of course it has a grammar checker or a grammar correction engine which checks and advices modifications to your text.
  • It also has a contextual spell checker which advices on the correct spelling of a word based on the context of the sentence.
  • It also has a Grammarly Plug-in that adds similar features to your Microsoft word and Microsoft outlook software.

Signing-up is simple enough,

Create an account

Adding it to chrome is easiest

Adding to chrome

The Test Results

Codemakit itself tried its hand on the perfection seeking online gizmo. So we uploaded a previous article from codemakit on "The dangers of Fair Use Copyright Policy". It is a common policy at codemakit that each and every article published on the website, goes through a series of checks to keep the quality of writing consistent with the highest standards possible. As a result, the text of each article is subjected to

1. The normal spell and grammatical check at Microsoft word,
2. Additional Checks at blogger platform
3. Proofreading of the complete document to ensure removal of contextual or logical errors that may have crept up.

The same article was abridged to remove unnecessary fringes and uploaded to Grammarly (After signing up at a fairly simple form).

Yes Errors were minimal, but they were still present. It came out as a surprise that Grammarly could point out 5 errors in the text uploaded even after it was subjected to such rigorous checks.

The codemakit creative commons test

The errors were
2 Insertion of commas
1 Replacement of the word ‘of’ instead of ‘in’
2 Insertion of hyphens

Other Reviews

In the recent times, Grammarly has been under fire from various websites because of its non performance in pointing out errors in some easy statements (The economist was one of them). Grammarist.com conducted a test of its own for determining Grammarly's efficiency in pointing out errors in statements. 14 incorrect statements were typed in the Grammarly interface. Grammarly could find 4 errors but was unable to find anything wrong with the other 10. Since some time has passed since grammarist's test was conducted, Codemakit now repeated the same test with the same 14 sentences to check for updates in the engine. We found that now Grammarly could find 6 errors as opposed to the previous 4.

Other Reviews

Final Verdict

The perfection loving Grammarly isn't perfect, but just as a human, it is improving with time. Though imperfect, it is still better than the spell check tool at Microsoft word. I would definitely recommend its use to students and businessmen alike.


After writing the article, I was sending a mail to some bloke and grammarly came in swooping like an eagle, pointing out two mistakes at my mail's disclaimer.
Oh this reminds me, I have to edit the disclaimer.

Update from codemakit mail disclaimer

Related Reading,

A previous post on organization of articles will help shed some light on the workings of codemakit aside from simple grammar check.

If you found the example text interesting, you'll be pleased to note that, we have another one like it, i.e. a case study on the dangers of fair use copyright policy.

This was on,
MohitChar Grammarly, A Review