Dumbing down of WT literature can be measured mathematically.

by hamsterbait 39 Replies latest jw friends

  • hamsterbait

    Mysterious -

    The academic criteria for children under 10 years are different from the fog index which is designed for those with money to spend as they choose.

    Lists of basic words and ability to understand simple concepts come into play. That is why the fog index can only apply to those 10 years or over.


  • greendawn

    One thing that put me off the JWs was the low quality of their literature nothing intellectually stimulating or challenging, everything so flat and boring. And they claim to be God's inspired channel. Let me puke.

  • Mysterious

    There are quite a few here that gush and swear by how the society has expanded their vocabulary with their word choice. It seems to me overall it is the message that has gotten dumbed down not merely the style in which it is written.

  • PeLe, ThE Soccer King
    PeLe, ThE Soccer King

    Hello all,

    Maybe they are only trying follow a coherently a biblical principle in 1 Corithians 14:

    " 9 In the same way also, unless YOU through the tongue utter speech easily understood, how will it be known what is being spoken? Y OU will, in fact, be speaking into the air. 10 It may be that there are so many kinds of speech sounds in the world, and yet no [kind] is without meaning. 11 If, then, I do not understand the force of the speech sound, I shall be a foreigner to the one speaking, and the one speaking will be a foreigner to me."

    Some people say that a similar think could to be applied to new testament. It was not written in classical greek, but koine a not so good kind of greek. Try to use the same criteria in New testament, or perhaps comparing this with other greek classical test like Iliad or Odyssey...

    Best regards,


  • M.J.

    I just randomly picked the March, 15, 1940 Watchtower article, titled "Refuge" (page 83-)

    I plugged it into MS word and got the following statistics:

    words per Sentence: 22.6

    Characters per word: 4.4

    Flesch Reading Ease: 59.6

    Flesch-Kincaid Grade Level: 9.8

  • Oroborus21


    Just thought that I would point out that there has been a trend in business, government, professional fields and education for a long time now to write in "plain language" and to attempt to place all materials that are aimed at the general public to no higher than the "8th grade reading level".

    So the Society's publications written at such a level or lower is actually evidence of good writing not poor and it is not an indication of the intelligence or sophistication of Witnesses (the primary users of the literature). It is just a reflection of the times.

    The Society isn't trying to write beautiful prose or literature, it is trying to communicate what are sometimes difficult concepts in a simple manner - one that can easily be translated in multiple languages I might add.

    -Eduardo Leaton Jr., Esq.

  • daniel-p

    I am not so concerned with the simplistic language - like you, Oronobus, I see it as effective writing - perhaps not the kind of writing I want to read, but it is quite effective at reaching a broad audience. HOWEVER, the "dumbing down" that I see as counter-productive is exemplified in this excerpt:

    *** w04 9/1 pp. 17-18 Beware of “the Voice of Strangers” ***

    "Obeying Jehovah’s voice also means obeying Jesus’ voice, for Jehovah himself told us to do so. (Matthew 17:5) What does Jesus, the Fine Shepherd, tell us to do? He teaches us to make disciples and to trust “the faithful and discreet slave.” (Matthew 24:45; 28:18-20) Obeying his voice means our eternal life.—Acts 3:23."

    I don't think I need to point it out for you. This kind of prose is rampant in the Society's literature and only aquires merit if the reader is under-educated or if it has been applied with repetition over years of indoctrination.

  • deeskis


    well what do you expect on an organization that discourages further education...........if you hire monkeys you have to pay peanuts


  • james_woods

    I just thought this old thread might be relevant again now (after all this time).

  • kurtbethel

    I found the poor research, faulty logic and many unfound assertions in the literature to be so distracting as to make it unreadable. The talking down style merely made it nauseating.

    watchtower literature causes brain damage - more Sheila Dashnaw nonsense

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