Just when I thought things couldn’t get much worse (I mean Bannon as chief strategist, what…?), I had the misfortune to learn about Trump’s new website, greatagain.gov. Being the website geek that I am, I clicked to check it out. What followed was a web content nightmare of the worst sort.
My first clue that something was really off was when I navigated to the Serve America page. The sentence, “Any individual who wishes to serve the Administration should utilize this online application in order to participate.”, is full of superfluous words and more complicated versions of words.
- Let’s start with “Any individual.” How about “Anybody”?
- (Btw, should “Administration” be capitalized? I don’t think so. Maybe they meant to say America to match the page title?)
- Then we have “utilize…” What’s wrong with “use”?
- Finally, “in order to participate.” What’s the point of “in order” here? Totally unnecessary.
I suggest a complete rewrite of this sentence as “Anybody who wants to serve America should apply online.”
As I was catching my breath from all of that, I noticed to my horror a big league problem with spacing between sentences. Most of the sentences have two spaces between them. This is a huge no-no in online writing and should be outlawed in general now that most of us no longer use typewriters. So somebody old wrote this, I get it. But y’all, in some spots there are THREE spaces between words. I am really going to have trouble sleeping tonight knowing that this is out there.
I’m not sure if you’re going to be able to handle what’s next, but I feel obligated to report that a few sentences have zero, I repeat ZERO, spaces between them. How could anybody, Republican nor not, allow this to happen! I’m stunned.
Off the Charts Readability Levels
I was ready to move on with my life—and turn off the Internet forever—after these shocking discoveries, but I was too deep into it not to press on. I often use a tool called Hemingwayapp.com to check the readability of web content I publish. I decided to throw the content on the Meet the Future Second Lady page into the tool to test it out. Imaging my dismay when I read the results in warning yellow on white: Grade 13. Every sentence except one was either “hard to read” or “very hard to read.” How this is going to work out for Trump’s constituency, I do not know.
(Also, where are the pictures on the bio pages? Surely, the web master has access to about a gazillion images of the future top two couples of America. I hate to tell you, but you’re missing out on some alt tag action by not having photos on those pages.)
I could keep going, but my lunch break is almost over and, frankly, I don’t know how much more I can take of this website. It’s killing me (figuratively).
I thought about applying to serve America (because I really want to), but I reconsidered when I read that “The time commitment is significant and the pace is fast (no period)” and that I would be asked to provide “articles and editorials you may have written,” since they probably would disqualify me out the gate.
I did, however, share my ideas for how to make America great.
The top three things we can do to make America great are:
- Own up to our violent, racist, and intolerant past and present and start the long process of healing.
- Reverse Citizens United and get corporate interests out of politics. Corporations are NOT people.
- Fix the income inequality problem that is dividing the country, undermining trust, and negatively impacting Americans’ health. I look forward to paying more taxes so that others can have enough.
I did not, however, sign up for the newsletter (although, tempting!), because I hate email and after everything I’d just been through, I couldn’t do that to myself.