After spending 11 hours on campus today, I really didn’t want to come home and do more work. Hey, I should at least be able to enjoy part of my Monday. So I left my laptop in the office, came home and threw some pizza in the oven, and started catching up on three weeks of other people’s blogs. I got through Bad Astronomy, The Planetary Society Blogs, Whatever, and started reading Wil Wheaton dot Net when this post caught my attention.
Basically, there’s this website called I Write Like, where it takes some text that you write, runs it through a statistical analysis tool, and tells you which authors share your writing style.
So cool, I’ll try it out with some text from that books post from yesterday:
Well that’s pretty awesome. I talk about Arthur C. Clarke in that post, and it turns out that this tool thinks I write like him too. Of course, the skeptical part of my brain took over then, and I thought that perhaps the system just tosses out a random author. So I tried it again on the same text.
Oh, OK then, cool. Now let’s see how my writing style changed over time. Luckily, I save basically everything (hey, I have the hard drive space for it), so I grabbed the first few paragraphs of an article I wrote at the end of senior year of undergrad for The Excalibur.
Well that’s interesting. I guess my blog posts are a bit more informal, whereas the articles that I try to write a bit more formally with big words and complex sentences throw me back 100+ years. Hmmmm, what else can I try? Well, how about one of the first Excalibur articles I wrote?
Yep, that one was definitely more informal – the pattern seems to be holding steady. Either that, or my writing style has come full circle in the past seven years. OK, what else can I dig up. How about an essay I wrote for my College Composition class from waaaaaay back during freshman year?
Oh… well… um… sorry, every English teacher I’ve ever had. I wasn’t expecting an essay on a Robert Browning poem to be quite so terrifying.
In conclusion, I want to see their statistical algorithm.