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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...]
       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,
       sentences and paragraphs.  It can further locate sentences with certain
       characteristics.  If no files are given, the document is read 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
              manuals, that ranged in 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 fictional texts) are usually a series of
              short sentences, which lowers the score.  On the other hand,
              scientific texts with many long scientific terms are rated
              higher, although they are not necessarily harder to read 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
              Kincaid, ARI and Flesch when applied to technical documents.

              Coleman-Liau = 5.88*chars/wds-29.5*sent/wds-15.8

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

              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 Bjornsson from Sweden is very
              simple 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 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 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 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
              subordinating.  Coordinating conjunctions join grammatically
              equal sentence 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
       subordinating conjunction links a subordinate clause, which is unable
       to stand alone, to an independent clause.  Examples of subordinating
       conjunctions are "because," "although," and "even if."

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

              Nominalizations are verbs that are changed to nouns.  Style
              recognizes words that end in "ment," "ance," "ence," or "ion" as
              nominalizations.  Examples are "endowment," "admittance," and
              "nominalization."  Too much nominalization in 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 the document language (de, en, nl).

       -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 the passive voice.

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

       -n nominalizations-passive, --print-nom-passive
              print all sentences  phrased in 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 code 2.

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

              specifies the document character set.  The default character set
              is ASCII.

       This program is GNU software, copyright 1997-2007 Michael Haardt

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

       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 3 of the License, or (at your
       option) any later version.

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

       You should have received a copy of the GNU General Public License along
       with this program.  If not, write 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 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
       programs, Computer Science Technical Report 91, Bell Laboratories,
       Murray Hill, N.J. (1981), republished as part of the 4.4BSD User's
       Supplementary Documents by O'Reilly.

       Coleman, M. and Liau,T.L. (1975). 'A computer readability formula
       designed for machine scoring', Journal of Applied Psychology, 60(2),

GNU                            August 30th, 2007                      STYLE(1)


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