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Readability:Why are polysyllabic words hard to read?

Guðrún Gústafsdóttir avatar


A polysyllabic word is a word with more than three syllables. In general usage, a polysyllabic word is a word which is regarded as lengthy. Polysyllabic writing or speech is often regarded as elaborate, overly lengthy or excessively complex. 

Reasons why you should avoid using polysyllabic words:

  • People with dyslexia and other learning disabilities have difficulties comprehending polysyllabic words.
  • People with poor language understanding and/or processing may find it difficult to read and understand polysyllabic words.
  • Polysyllabic words are likely to make the meaning of your content more difficult to grasp.
  • It is faster for users to scan through pages when reading if it consists of simple and straightforward words.

Read more about readability tests carried out by Siteimprove.

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