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Old 2008-05-13, 02:00   Link #41
Solace
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kang Seung Jae View Post
It really depends on how much info you're trying to take in.
That's true, to a point. One thing I've learned from studying languages is that English can be very "wordy" at times. By that I mean sometimes long winded phrases can be summarized into much shorter ones and still mean the same thing. I'm sure this is true for other languages as well, but I've been told English is especially complex in this nature. I wouldn't know since it's my native tongue but I'm sure a few of my posts (and other forum posters) fit into that pretty well.

Unnecessary fluff I think is what people would call it. Or long winded, etc. But as Aoi pointed out, vocabulary goes a very long way. I remember a typing speed test I took once....I've never hated the word "ichthyologist" more in my life.

I think the desire to shorthand words stems from this. I may cringe when I see people use sentences such as "do u luv 2 speek wit ppl?", but I understand the roots of why people type like that. Even if I think it's stupid and lazy.
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Old 2008-05-13, 02:02   Link #42
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Quote:
One thing I've learned from studying languages is that English can be very "wordy" at times.
It's very easy to accumulate lots of adjectives and adjectival phrases in English and not sound unnatural. Tolkien's writing is a perfect example of this. That's why, when translated to Spanish, Tolkien's descriptions get extremely boring and annoying. I used to skip them when I was reading the Spanish translation of Lord of the Rings.

I wouldn't take it, however, as a "complexity" of the English language. More often than not, such things denote a lack of sintactical complexity. English, structurally speaking, is much more simpler than Spanish--but it's much more lexically complex (that is, there are a lot more words in English than in Spanish).
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Old 2008-05-13, 02:16   Link #43
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You read 390 words in 1.53 minutes. Your reading speed is 255 words per minute!
that's because there was an article there that included 'typesetting' and 'proofreading' which is part of my work/hobby as a scanlator so i gave some thought before reading on.

its not about how fast you can read, its about how much information is transferred to your brain.

for example:

a man reads a 1000 page novel in 5 hours, while another one read it at a slower pace and took him about a day. even without showing specific data one would assume that the one who read it in a more steady pace got more information and facts than his counterpart.


oh and...

Quote:
You read 404 words in 0.01 minutes. Your reading speed is 40400 words per minute!
its the 'how fast can you click' contest
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Old 2008-05-13, 02:27   Link #44
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Quote:
Originally Posted by supahem View Post
its not about how fast you can read, its about how much information is transferred to your brain.

for example:

a man reads a 1000 page novel in 5 hours, while another one read it at a slower pace and took him about a day. even without showing specific data one would assume that the one who read it in a more steady pace got more information and facts than his counterpart.
That might be the case, but some people would argue that it's not how much information you get, but how much you need to get the main point. This is why one number can't stand for everything, because who's to say how much is enough? Let's say that I'm reading a mystery novel. I would want to get slowly and try to take in as many little details as I can. If I'm skimming through the paper trying to see something interesting to read, then I would only catch maybe two words in each sentence. If you're taking a reading comprehension test, then you might want to skim the questions first, looking for keywords, then after reading the passage you will want to read the questions more carefully.

I'm actually on your side here, since I will admit that reading more slowly will get you more information. However, on certain threads, such as the "What is Your Religion?" thread, it would take me 30 minutes to read through a page if I don't skim. And that gets me back to the text that we read for the test. It didn't interest me, and I already forgot most of it. I was doing more pointless looking than reading. If that article was in the newspaper, I would have skimmed through it in 5 seconds and decide that I'm not going to read it. Since I was forced to read it and process it, it was slower than 90% readings I've done.
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Old 2008-05-13, 06:54   Link #45
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Quote:
Originally Posted by supahem View Post
its not about how fast you can read, its about how much information is transferred to your brain
Exactly. I find this test rather strange. I've got 400 words/min, I've got 700 words/min. And that means what? What is speed reading worth if the information doesn't sink deeper than into your sensory memory, if it's perceived at all? I'd put a comprehension test at the end to see if people can at least roughly describe the six "reading types" mentioned. Otherwise the reading time remains a number without any meaning. And I wouldn't announce this comprension test beforehand. Just to demonstrate how easy it is to delude oneself about how much (or little) one really gets.

From my experience the important skill is to judge what to read.
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Old 2008-05-13, 09:27   Link #46
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Originally Posted by Slice of Life View Post
From my experience the important skill is to judge what to read.
Exactly. I think I've heard somewhere that one volume of New York Times contains more news information than an average person gained in a lifetime in the 14th century. We're currently under such information bombardment that filtering the information that you gather becomes increasingly important. Processing the excessive information flood has been connected to depression and several anxiety disorders. In a way you could say that ignorance is bliss. But naturally the amount of knowledge that's considered minimum in a modern society is very much higher that it used to be not so many decades ago and knowledge is power so in order to be successful the amount of necessary information is increased dramatically. However the old saying that knowledge is pain seems to be quite equally true. It all comes down to being selective about the information you gather and I believe that's something that really requires much attention.
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Old 2008-05-13, 09:49   Link #47
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How did my thread manage to get this many responses?

Anyway, I think I'm beginning to grasp a bit on how to skim and get the general idea of the sentence and paragraph.

I also agree with the notion that interesting things tend to get read faster more than boring stuff, even within a novel, I find reading through the exciting bits can be quite a breeze while the boring bits can be quite a pain.

So whether a book is good or not depends on the ratio of the interesting bits against the boring bits. If boring bits are unavoidable in the structuring of a story, then I'd say the golden ratio ought to be 9:1, and at least 7:3 for me.

Reading quickly through interesting bits seems to apply in this thread as well, so please do forgive me if I find your post boring and I skipped it entirely.

Nah, I'm kidding, I did try and read at least one sentence for each post so far.
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Old 2008-05-13, 09:49   Link #48
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I don't really understand the point of the test. Generally speaking for myself. I read because i either have to or want to.
Example I'm into fantasy novels like those by RA Salvatore, or Emma Cummings. not short novels by any means and it could take 3 days for me to finish it because I want to grasp as much details as possible and actually be emerge in the setting. Then I have text book which I dread reading. I read the question and skim thru the chapter looking for keywords as one of the poster noted. I would not be able to tell you who the founder Georg Ohm is but I could solve problem he derivate. On the same note I could tell you who Bruenor from ICE wind is, who his second in command is, where he hailed from. I could give you information on the legacy of Drizz't , but couldn't tell you who Max Planck.

I guess my point is most of us will only intake information that is only pertains to us. Some of us read the paper everyday. For those that do, can you tell me what was on the front paper of you weekly paper 17 days ago, without looking it up? My point being you don't memorize the details you absorb it. Just like a favorite book, novel, author. I think I might just have gone of on a tangent.
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Old 2008-05-13, 10:06   Link #49
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mm english can have a lot of fluff, but try reading proust in french...terrible... All of his sentences are huge paragraphs, for me it was torture, and i hate his writing style. i do feel that i skim more than i should especially when it's something i don't want to read ex: dry textbooks, or confusing ones
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Old 2008-05-13, 11:38   Link #50
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Quote:
You read 518 words in 1.28 minutes. Your reading speed is 405 words per minute
I wonder was that fast or slow
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Old 2008-05-13, 12:01   Link #51
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Originally Posted by King Lycan View Post
I wonder was that fast or slow
It's neither. If you looked at the chart at the upper right hand side of the page, you would see that it is average. Or about.
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Old 2008-05-13, 12:13   Link #52
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i think the test would have been great if there was some 'recap' test that is done after reading the article. although it would be much harder to calculate(the number of correct answers, the reading speed, and the final analysis)
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Old 2008-05-13, 12:14   Link #53
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I'm a slow reader - and it's fine that way. When I read books I often pause to think about a passage or a thought. And what the hell, reading isn't a contest or anything, you should be able to take profits from a good book, not just save information and move on to the next one without thinking. Meh.
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Old 2008-05-13, 16:32   Link #54
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Originally Posted by Mueti View Post
I'm a slow reader - and it's fine that way. When I read books I often pause to think about a passage or a thought. And what the hell, reading isn't a contest or anything, you should be able to take profits from a good book, not just save information and move on to the next one without thinking. Meh.
That's if you enjoy reading, or if you were reading something as an interest. Reading fast is undoubtedly beneficial when the purpose is to take in information, or when you are forced to read (and don't enjoy it). Plus, with the huge amount of information nowadays, of course it's good to be able to read faster.

I agree that there's no reason to try to read fast for leisure, even if I rarely understand how reading can be fun. But, in my opinion, the ability to read faster to a certain speed will help making reading more enjoyable. I definitely don't want to even think about fiction as a leisure activity if I'm just going to snail-pace it and getting nowhere into the story.

I have been looking into speed reading lately (to find a way around my reading assignments in class ) and for the record, I have found that it's not about trying to skimp through the text, but adjusting your pace depending on the importance and difficulty of different materials and different portions of the text. Speed reading also includes looking at several words at once at each eye pause, reducing subvocalization (reading words aloud inside the mind), and eliminating habitual regression (the tendency of looking back at texts that have already been read subconsciously), etc.

My life would be so much easier if I could read like Kang Seung Jae, Vexx, or several others in the thread. ;_;

*glare in jealousy*
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Old 2008-05-13, 16:49   Link #55
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For me, it was a critical life skill... much of my career I have been placed in positions of having to go from knowledge level zero to level "expert" in a few days and then give a presentation. You quickly learn there's a sort of meta-knowledge (knowledge about knowledge) that helps parse and categorize data elements within a knowledge field.

The more you already "grok" a concept, the faster you can read to add more attributes to that concept and retain them.

The mechanical act of reading (grabbing blocks with the eye rather than single words, reduction of back-glancing, ignoring english "fluff", etc) can be improved. For retention, following that up with a self-quiz (which helps memory-retention) or talking it over with someone else (also helping memory retention) is useful.

Like I said before, the test linked to is totally useless in that it fails to test for comprehension and retention.
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Old 2008-05-13, 18:13   Link #56
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Quote:
Originally Posted by WanderingKnight View Post
It's very easy to accumulate lots of adjectives and adjectival phrases in English and not sound unnatural.
Agreed. English assimilates words from every source, creates new words, and changes words frequently. There's also casual and formal usage of words (bad = tough person or terrible at something, cool = likeable person or temperature, gay = happy or sexual orientation; and that's just a few uses of each word), as well as modern and old English variations (colour vs color as an example). As a native speaker, it's often easy to point out non native speakers because they lack the vocabulary, even if they are grammatically correct.

Structurally, it's pretty simple, but it does have some really weird rules that can throw people for a loop, especially when it comes to plurals and tenses.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Vexx View Post
The mechanical act of reading (grabbing blocks with the eye rather than single words, reduction of back-glancing, ignoring english "fluff", etc) can be improved. For retention, following that up with a self-quiz (which helps memory-retention) or talking it over with someone else (also helping memory retention) is useful.
Retention is way more important than reading fast in my opinion. I'm always amazed at people who can recite tons of sports statistics and cultural trivia but can't apply that same memory retention to educational subjects. Don't get me wrong, speed reading *is* a good skill to have, but entirely worthless if you can't remember 90+ percent of the material you just scanned.
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Old 2008-05-14, 02:02   Link #57
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Scanning allow you to filter out the topics you aren't interested in so there are no neccessity to remember them. If the topic interest you then you can read it at a better pace.
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Old 2008-05-14, 02:17   Link #58
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Originally Posted by Solace View Post
Retention is way more important than reading fast in my opinion. I'm always amazed at people who can recite tons of sports statistics and cultural trivia but can't apply that same memory retention to educational subjects. Don't get me wrong, speed reading *is* a good skill to have, but entirely worthless if you can't remember 90+ percent of the material you just scanned.
One should be able to control the amount of info retained after reading.


You don't need to know 90% of what you read on your tests to get answers right.
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Old 2008-05-14, 02:41   Link #59
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Originally Posted by FateAnomaly View Post
Scanning allow you to filter out the topics you aren't interested in so there are no necessity to remember them. If the topic interest you then you can read it at a better pace.
Filtering isn't speed reading. On that topic though, remembering what you've filtered through is helpful if you need to find something that wasn't interesting then but might be interesting now.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Kang Seung Jae View Post
One should be able to control the amount of info retained after reading.


You don't need to know 90% of what you read on your tests to get answers right.
Agreed on the first part. But not sure what you mean about the second part.
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Old 2008-05-14, 02:47   Link #60
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Agreed on the first part. But not sure what you mean about the second part.
Mainly talking about standardized tests like the SAT and stuff.


I tend to reach over 3000 words per minutes when skimming through the passages, talking in only about 75% of the important details.
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