Many people in many languages have been helped by this. In Elizabethan times, the average sentence was 50 words long. Sherman's work established that: Sherman wrote: “Literary English, in short, will follow the forms of standard spoken English from which it comes.No man should talk worse than he writes, no man should write better than he should talk....In 1921, Thorndike published Teachers Word Book, which contained the frequencies of 10,000 words.It made it easier for teachers to choose books that matched class reading skills. They were concerned that junior high school science textbooks had so many technical words.Kitson’s work showed that each type of reader bought and read their own type of text.
At higher levels, ranking reading ease becomes more difficult, as individual difficulties become harder to identify.
Educational psychologist Edward Thorndike of Columbia University noted that, in Russia and Germany, teachers used word frequency counts to match books to students.
Word skill was the best sign of intellectual development, and the strongest predictor of reading ease.
If simple language were easy, many of our problems would have been solved long ago.” Bryson helped set up the Readability Laboratory at the College.
Two of his students were Irving Lorge and Rudolf Flesch.