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style(1) - style - analyse surface characteristics of a document - man 1 style

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STYLE(1)                         User commands                        STYLE(1)

       style - analyse surface characteristics of a document

       style [-L language] [-l length] [-r ari] [file(1,n)...]
       style [--language language] [--print-long length] [--print-ari ari]
       style -h|--help
       style --version

       Style analyses the surface characteristics of the writing  style  of  a
       document.   It prints various readability grades, length of words, sen-
       tences and paragraphs.  It can further locate  sentences  with  certain
       characteristics.   If  no  files  are  given, the document is read(2,n,1 builtins) from
       standard input.

       Numbers are counted as words  with  one  syllable.   A  sentence  is  a
       sequence  of words, that starts with a capitalised word and ends with a
       full stop, double colon, question mark or exclamation mark.   A  single
       letter  followed by a dot is considered an abbreviation, so it does not
       end a sentence.  Various  multi-letter  abbreviations  are  recognized,
       they  do  not  end  a sentence as well.  A paragraph consists of two or
       more new line characters.

   Readability grades
       Style understands cpp(1) #line lines for being  able  to  give  precise
       locations when printing sentences.

       Kincaid formula
              The  Kincaid  Formula has been developed for Navy training manu-
              als, that ranged in(1,8) difficulty from 5.5 to 16.3.  It is probably
              best  applied  to  technical  documents,  because it is based on
              adult training manuals rather than school  book  text.   Dialogs
              (often  found  in(1,8) fictional texts) are usually a series of short
              sentences, which lowers the score.  On the  other  hand,  scien-
              tific  texts  with  many long scientific terms are rated higher,
              although they are not necessarily harder to read(2,n,1 builtins) for people  who
              are familiar with those terms.

              Kincaid = 11.8*syllables/wds+0.39*wds/sentences-15.59

       Automated Readability Index
              The Automated Readability Index is typically higher than Kincaid
              and Coleman-Liau, but lower than Flesch.

              ARI = 4.71*chars/wds+0.5*wds/sentences-21.43

       Coleman-Liau Formula
              The Coleman-Liau Formula usually gives a lower grade  than  Kin-
              caid, ARI and Flesch when applied to technical documents.

              Coleman-Liau = 5.89*chars/wds-0.3*sentences/(100*wds)-15.8

       Flesh reading easy formula
              The  Flesh  reading  easy formula has been developed by Flesh in(1,8)
              1948 and it is based on school text covering grade 3 to 12.   It
              is  wide  spread, especially in(1,8) the USA, because of good results
              and simple computation.  The index is usually between  0  (hard)
              and  100  (easy),  standard  English documents averages approxi-
              mately 60 to 70.  Applying  it  to  German  documents  does  not
              deliver  good  results  because of the different language struc-

              Flesch Index = 206.835-84.6*syll/wds-1.015*wds/sent

       Fog Index
              The Fog index has been developed by Robert Gunning.   Its  value
              is  a school grade.  The ``ideal'' Fog Index level is 7 or 8.  A
              level above 12 indicates the writing sample is too hard for most
              people  to read.  Only use it on texts of at least hundred words
              to get meaningful results.  Note that a  correct  implementation
              would not count words of three or more syllables that are proper
              names, combinations of easy words, or made  three  syllables  by
              suffixes such as -ed, -es, or -ing.

              Fog Index = 0.4*(wds/sent+100*((wds >= 3 syll)/wds))

       Lix formula
              The  Lix formula developed by Bjrnsson from Sweden is very sim-
              ple and employs a mapping table as well:

              Lix = wds/sent+100*(wds >= 6 char)/wds

              Index         34       38       41       44       48       51        54        57
              School year        5        6        7        8        9        10        11

              The  SMOG-Grading  for  English  texts  has  been  developed  by
              McLaughlin in(1,8) 1969.  Its result is a school grade.

              SMOG-Grading = square root of (((wds >= 3 syll)/sent)*30) + 3

              It  has  been  adapted to German by Bamberger & Vanecek in(1,8) 1984,
              who changed the constant +3 to -2.

   Word usage
       The word usage counts are intended to help identify  excessive  use  of
       particular parts of speech.

       Verb Phrases
              The  category  of verbs labeled "to be" identifies phrases using
              the passive voice.  Use the passive voice sparingly, in(1,8) favor of
              more  direct  verb  forms.  The flag -p causes style to list all
              occurrences of the passive voice.

       The verb category "aux" measures the use of modal auxiliary verbs, such
       as "can", "could", and "should".  Modal auxiliary verbs modify the mood
       of a verb.

              The conjunctions counted by style are coordinating and  subordi-
              nating.  Coordinating conjunctions join(1,n) grammatically equal sen-
              tence fragments, such as a noun with a noun,  a  phrase  with  a
              phrase,  or a clause to a clause.  Coordinating conjunctions are
              "and," "but," "or," "yet," and "nor."

       Subordinating conjunctions connect clauses of unequal status.  A subor-
       dinating  conjunction  links  a  subordinate clause, which is unable to
       stand alone, to an independent clause.  Examples of subordinating  con-
       junctions are "because," "although," and "even if."

              Pronouns  are  contextual  references to nouns and noun phrases.
              Documents with few pronouns generally lack cohesiveness and flu-
              idity.  Too many pronouns may indicate ambiguity.

              Nominalizations are verbs that are changed to nouns.  Style rec-
              ognizes words that end in(1,8) "ment," "ance," "ence,"  or  "ion"  as
              nominalizations.   Examples  are  "endowment," "admittance," and
              "nominalization."  Too much nominalization  in(1,8)  a  document  can
              sound  abstract  and  be  difficult  to understand.  The flag -N
              causes style to list all nominalizations.  The  flag  -n  prints
              all sentences with either the passive voice or a nominalization.

       -L language, --language language
              set(7,n,1 builtins) the document language.

       -l length, --print-long length
              print all sentences longer than length words.

       -r ari, --print-ari ari
              print all sentences whose readability  index  (ARI)  is  greater
              than ari.

       -p passive, --print-passive
              print all sentences phrased in(1,8) the passive voice.

       -N nominalizations, --print-nom
              print all sentences containing nominalizations.

       -n nominalizations-passive, --print-nom-passive
              print  all sentences  phrased in(1,8) the passive voice or containing

       -h, --help
              Print a short usage message.

              Print the version.

       On usage errors, 1 is returned.  Termination caused by lack  of  memory
       is signalled by exit(3,n,1 builtins) code 2.

              specifies  the  default document language.  The default language
              is en.

              specifies the document character set.  The default character set(7,n,1 builtins)
              is ASCII.

       This  program  is  GNU software, copyright 1997, 1998, 2000, 2001, 2002
       Michael Haardt <>.

       It contains contributions by Jason Petrone <> and Uschi
       Stegemeier <>.

       This program is free software; you can redistribute it and/or modify it
       under the terms of the GNU General Public License as published  by  the
       Free  Software Foundation; either version(1,3,5) 2 of the License, or (at your
       option) any later version.

       This program is distributed in(1,8) the hope that it  will  be  useful,  but
       WITHOUT  ANY  WARRANTY;  without  even  the  implied  warranty  of MER-
       Public License for more details.

       You should have received a copy of the GNU General Public License along
       with this program.  If not, write(1,2)  to  the  Free  Software  Foundation,
       Inc., 59 Temple Place - Suite 330, Boston, MA 02111-1307, USA.

       There  has  been a style command on old UNIX systems, which is now part
       of the AT&T DWB package.  The original version(1,3,5) was  bound  to  roff  by
       enforcing a call to deroff.

       deroff(1), diction(1)

       Cherry,  L.L.; Vesterman, W.: Writing Tools--The STYLE and DICTION pro-
       grams, Computer Science Technical Report 91, Bell Laboratories,  Murray
       Hill,  N.J. (1981), republished as part of the 4.4BSD User's Supplemen-
       tary Documents by O'Reilly.

       De  Vries,  Hugo:  Reading  Ease@WWW,

GNU                            February 25, 2002                      STYLE(1)

References for this manual (incoming links)