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Sunday, July 18, 2010

I Write Like - A fun, if inconsistent, internet toy

There's a new site that's gone viral called I Like Write. In their words:
Check which famous writer you write like with this statistical analysis tool, which analyzes your word choice and writing style and compares them with those of the famous writers.

Any text in English will do: your latest blog post, journal entry, comment, chapter of your unfinished book, etc. For reliable results paste at least a few paragraphs (not tweets).
That sounded like fun to me, so I thought I'd try it with a post from Eye on a Crazy Planet.

The first I tried was this one from yesterday about the anti-Israel bigot, York University instructor, John Greyson.

And I Write Like told me I write like Kurt Vonnegut. Wow, was I flattered! That got me so pleased with myself, I almost clicked their link to "Learn how to secure a book publishing contract!"

But, me being the sceptic you've come to love, I figured I should try another post, just to see what happens. So I tried this one about the problematic ideological cooperation between Hamas and "Queers Against Israeli Apartheid."

On this second attempt, I Write Like told me I write like H.P. Lovecraft.

Interesting, also flattering, and while Hamas and "Queers Against Israeli Apartheid" are indeed contemporary horrors, I hadn't realized my writing style changed so drastically between posts. So I thought I should try one more time. This time taking a completely different subject, my interview piece with Rob Ford from earlier this week. I Write Like‘s analysis of that was that it resembled the writing style of The Hitchhiker‘s Guide to the Galaxy‘s Douglas Adams.

 As thrilled as I was to be stylistically compared with these three authors, it left me believing less that my prose takes wild stylistic shifts resembling three of the 20th Century‘s great authors than it did feeling that I Write Like is an inaccurate assessment tool used as a marketing ploy for the site‘s writing/publishing related ads.

But I had fun with what they describe as a Bayesian classifier and you might too. So even if your friends, teachers and Random House tell you otherwise, at least you know there is one place you can go where you‘ll be told you have the potential to be the next Tom Wolfe or Saul Bellow.

1 comment:

Van Grungy said...


I tried two different comments I made...

Fun stuff...