Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Who do you write like

If you have low esteem, particularly with regard to your writing skills, despair no more. A site called I Write Like will statistically analyse your writing skills and tell you which famous writer you write like. (yes it is always some well known writer which is a comfort). It's an ideal site for a lazy Sunday afternoon or right after lunch, when the mind is wandering and you find yourself unable to concentrate on serious work.

Of course you are wondering who I write like. Well, it's no secret any more. I always knew I was talented. My Bhopal post is like James Joyce, my Shuttle post is like Arthur C. Clarke (not a surprise) and my Martin Gardner post is, surprise surprise, again like that of James Joyce (Jeez, I didn't know I was so unreadable). (I am not linking to any of these posts -- they are just below the present one).

Of course these are just some statistical black box results. The site does not explain how it does this analysis nor the algorithm used to reach its conclusions. It merely makes the cryptic claim that it's a site "which analyzes your word choice and writing style and compares them with those of the famous writers". However, if you are interested in the more technical details about how this Bayesian analysis works, there is some information here. But I doubt it will leave you any wiser about your talents as a writer!


L said...

What do you think it will take for the site to say "You have an unique writing style, very much your own"? Maybe if you wrote gibberish?

Sourendu said...

It seems that the sentence "Turkeys sometimes find it hard to deal with modern technology" reads like George Orwell's. If you change the word turkeys to turkey sandwiches, the sentence reads like something by Kurt Vonnegut. Finally if you change the word technology in the Vonnegutish sentence to warfare, then it resembles writing by P. G. Wodehouse.

I think I'll stop there.

Thanks for the link

Rahul Basu said...

Sourendu: While this site is obviously not be taken seriously, it does say (in its defense) that you should submit a couple of paragraphs at least, not just one sentence! But anyway, this was just for entertainment! I thought that was clear from my Joycean prose :-)

gaddeswarup said...

I tried this too. The first six attempts gave different answers and then Cory Doctorow (a new name to me) came back. Ruchira Paul gives a list of the authors which come frequently when she tried the writings of a few other bloggers, and Cory Doctorow is on the list.

Sachin Shanbhag said...

I ran a simple control experiment.

I cut-pasted the first paragraph of Edgar Allan Poe's "The Fall of the House of Usher", and it said the writing was like H. P. Lovecraft.

I know Poe is one of the authors in the database, because it said so when I tried my own stuff.

So purely entertainment value.