So, something that's been bothering me lately is this weird concepts I keep seeing creeping up on various forums and such.
"You shouldn't have x in your story more than y times. It reduces the readability index of the story. You shouldn't use z punctuation more than a times, either."
I don't understand this. I get the idea of not repeating certain words too often in a certain amount of words, but this arbitrary idea of readability is what gets me.
I can tell you right now, different people find different styles of writing readable. Some see the repetition as more favorable, others prefer mixing it up so much that it pushes the limits of the fucked-up language we know as English. Others yet don't really give a fuck, so long as the point of the story or article is made. And in a growing trend, many others prefer stories so short that they would typically be considered snippets of a larger story.
This is where my mind is tripped up. People prefer different styles of writing when it comes to fiction. Why does anyone rely on these arbitrary scoring systems to aid them in writing a story?
In fact, when I did a bit of light research, all of the sources I found said that such tests were barely accurate at all. It's frustrating to see that, like many fads, people start relying on such tools as a gauge of how well-edited a work actually is. Sometimes, it feels like they're making something akin to an e-sport out of it. I even commented that much of the "used x more than y times" idea is a lot like clicks per minutes (cpm), where it's a completely unnecessary statistic that makes no difference whatsoever other than how fast someone can click a bloody button.
Yeah, I'm ranting at this point, but seeing this crop up so often is getting annoying. If I have any beta readers who insist that I follow such a stupid thing, I'll try to be nice about it, and not simply tell them to sod off.