Recently I got tipped about a new web site which has a tool that analyzes a block of your text, then tells you which author you “write like.”
I don’t know who could pass up a chance to play around on this web site. I hop on over and first paste a block from a recent blog entry. I have to admit, I almost feel a little bit nervous as I click the big “Analyze” button. Something like the feeling you get when you hand a finished exam to a teacher and he or she gives it a once over while you’re still standing there. My first result? Margaret Atwood. I am quite pleased with this but always a supporter of a bigger sample size, I start to paste a few more paragraphs. I intentionally choose what I consider to be a few different styles.
Second try? Cory Doctorow. This was a blog about my “identity crisis” in China. I don’t know who this Cory Doctorow is but my friend Wikipedia offers a bit of insight. Hmm… okay, I’m alright with being similar to this guy.
Third try. Dan Brown. Aaaaghh… I run screaming.
Fourth try. Stephenie Meyer. I am as annoyed as a vampire who needs blood. Or something like that.
Thankfully, my next three pieces from my blog return Cory Doctorow. I am satisfied with that at first. Then, I realize that when I write to my blog, it’s kind of a casual tone which it sounds like Cory might. So I look for the only pieces of academic writing on my hard drive. The first paragraph of my Master’s thesis reminds this analyzer of Vladimir Nabokov. Shocking. My graduate school admissions essay? Jonathan Swift. A part of a huge curriculum project I wrote is like the writing of H. P. Lovecraft. This last one is particularly hilarious because the paragraph I used described the developmental age of eight year olds.
Were there any lessons learned from the 30 minutes I
wasted fooled around on this web site? I would say… 1) I have multiple personality disorder, 2) I write like Cory Doctorow 3) My thesis might be as strange as Lolita 4) This web site doesn’t really work.