Find out if your fundraising writing is too “Latin”

Here’s another interesting writing tool: the Latinometer.

Most English words have either Germanic or Latin roots. Germanic-root words tend to be shorter, simpler, and pack more emotional punch. Latin-root words are longer and more intellectual. Think about the difference between the Germanic guts and the Latinate intestines.

The Latinometer looks at the origins of the words you use and reveals the percentage of Latinate words you use. It diagnoses your writing according to these levels:


  • 20% Latinate and below: You see the world in concrete terms
  • 20% to 35%: You sound educated
  • 35% to 60%: You sound pretentious
  • 60% and above: You are probably lying

Fundraising writing should stay below 30% Latinate most of the time. (I find it a struggle to push it below 20%.)

Thanks to Language Log for the tip.


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The future of fundraising is not about social media, online video, or SEM. It’s not about any technology, medium, or technique. It’s about donors. If you need to raise funds from donors, you need to study them, respect them, and build everything you do around them. And the future? It’s already here. More.

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Jeff BrooksJeff Brooks has been serving the nonprofit community for more than 35 years and blogging about it since 2005. He considers fundraising the most noble of pursuits and hopes you’ll join him in that opinion. You can reach him at jeff [at] jeff-brooks [dot] com. More.


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The future of fundraising is not about social media, online video, or SEM. It’s not about any technology, medium, or technique. It’s about donors. If you need to raise funds from donors, you need to study them, respect them, and build everything you do around them. And the future? It’s already here. More.

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Jeff Brooks has been serving the nonprofit community for more than 30 years and blogging about it since 2005. He considers fundraising the most noble of pursuits and hopes you’ll join him in that opinion. You can reach him at jeff [at] jeff-brooks [dot] com.

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