Upon submitting two of my blog posts to the readable test, both of them were reviewed as a 6 or 7. While this meant that my writing was around the fifth grade level, it also meant that it was very readable . In my opinion, this meant that my writing was simple and sub-par for these assignments, however, I received around an 80 as a score, meaning that I made it readable for more people.
I can make my posts more readable, yet also more sophisticated, by avoiding coined words and fixing my sentence structure. Below is an “internationalized” version of something I have previously written. I attempted to rid of complex sentence structure as well as coined words and phrases in order to make it readable for all cultures and reading levels.
“Show a people as one thing, as only one thing, over and over again, and that is what they become.” Chimamanda Adichie, in her TED talk, discussed how when we think of a culture in one way that is what they become. Using examples from Adichie’s own experience, she said how through word of mouth, and media this “single story” emerges. Upon watching this, I began to think of all the forms of media I had heard that create my stories.
Photos and images of African safari scenes and scenes of poverty are constantly seen in advertisements in order to help save them. So, my single story for this country is that they are basically indigenous people, who need saved. When, in reality, majority is self sufficient and just as knowledgeable as we are.
This concept of a single story also concerns me about the use of the word culture to describe a group of people. The definition of culture is dynamic because while people change, the concept of the culture does not. If people are shoved into culture categories, this just enhances this one track thinking that Adichie discusses. Culture is not definitive nor restricted by geography, race, or age.
I have done that not only about foreign places, but even different cultural groups within my own country. When I was younger, I went to Catholic school because my parents said that the public school in my area was dangerous. That idea was repeated over and over again, so when I moved cities, and moved to an are that had a safe public school, I did not want to switch schools because I had the idea that public schools were dangerous. That was my single story about public schools, until I learned better.