From a newsletter stylebook:

How to calculate readability:

Count the total number of words in the story.

Count the total number of words with less than five letters.

If 70% of the copy has words of five letters or less, it is very readable!

Italics mine.  Also mine is the four-letter word expectorated (read: spit out) after absorbing this advice.  I guess it works OK if you’re a jar of pasta sauce or a stop sign, though.

stop

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