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I write like WHO? - The online computery journal thingy of a turtle

Jul. 16th, 2010

12:59 am - I write like WHO?

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There's a meme thingy going around called "I Write Like", where you go to http://iwl.me/ and paste in a sample of your writing, and it tells you what author you write like.

I pasted in chapter 1 of "Harvey the Hawk". It told me I write like Stephenie Meyer, author of the "Twilight" series. Ew!

I pasted in chapter 2 and it told me I write like David Foster Wallace, whom I've never heard of. Wondering whether it uses an algorithm or is just random, I ran chapter 1 through again. It said Stephenie Meyer again, so I guess it's not random.

Then I tried an LJ post. I fed it my Cincinnati & Blue Ash post, and it told me David Foster Wallace again.

I gave it More thoughts about Toy Story 3; David Foster Wallace again.

Experimentally, I fed it the text of my latest diary update... it told me I write like Arthur C. Clarke. I'm baffled.

Comments:

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From:nefaria
Date:July 16th, 2010 01:07 pm (UTC)
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> I'm baffled.

Drat, what's being obstructed, your access to gases, sounds, light, or liquids?
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From:deckardcanine
Date:July 16th, 2010 01:57 pm (UTC)
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stevenroy entered an April Fool's post that was a mishmash of previous posts and got Wallace as well. I assume Wallace is a strange writer.
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From:aprivatefox
Date:July 16th, 2010 03:25 pm (UTC)
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If it helps clarify things - the system is almost certainly twigging off of what slightly-less-common words you use, because it's probably an under-trained Bayesian filter, and that's just what they end up doing without sufficient training.

So, put little stock in it; it's not saying much about your grammar or conceptual choices, just a bit of randomness about your vocabulary. (Also, David Foster Wallace is a hell of a writer. You could do worse than being compared to him.)
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From:kinkyturtle
Date:July 16th, 2010 05:20 pm (UTC)
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Yeah, I didn't figure it was anywhere near smart enough to go by anything that really matters from a literary standpoint, such as concepts or irony. :}
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From:alfador_fox
Date:July 16th, 2010 07:22 pm (UTC)
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It certainly does seem based on near-random vocabulary words. I pasted in the first, second, and last thirds of a short story I wrote a while back, and came up with three different authors:

Kurt Vonnegut
Bram Stoker
Chuck Palahniuk

I didn't know who Chuck was, turns out he wrote Fight Club, the book on which the movie was based.
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From:doodlesthegreat
Date:July 17th, 2010 05:23 pm (UTC)
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It's crap. A Twitter post from film critic Roger Ebert explains:

"I Write Like" thinks I write like Margaret Atwood, she writes like H. P. Lovecraft, and he writes like James Joyce.
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From:thecanuckguy
Date:July 17th, 2010 05:53 pm (UTC)
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The people on the Jeopardy! fan board discovered it as well, in this thread. I decided to mess with it, and never fed it any English. 5 paragraphs of Lorem Ipsum (thanks to the lorem ipsum generator at lipsum.com) gave the ubiquitous David Foster Wallace. Then I decided to use non-Latin alphabets from my store of national anthems lyrics. Yemen and Soviet Union (1977-1992) are like Stefenie Meyer, China is Henry Harrison, Georgia is Neil Gaiman, and Israel is Mary Shelley.

I wouldn't take it too seriously. ;)
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