I Write Like

July 18, 2010

Looks like I’m not the only one perplexed about my “I Write Like” results.

From the Associated Press:

The New Yorker found that an invitation to a birthday party was James Joycean. Many others were aghast to discover they wrote similarly to “The Da Vinci Code” scribe Dan Brown.

I know I was!

Chestnykh [whose second language is English] modeled the site on software for e-mail spam filters. This means that the site’s text analysis is largely keyword based. Even if you write in short, declarative, Hemingwayesque sentences, its your word choice that may determine your comparison.

Most writers will tell you, though, that the most telling signs of influence come from punctuation, rhythm and structure. I Write Like does account for some elements of style by things such as number of words per sentence.

Chestnykh has uploaded works by about 50 authors — three books for each, he said. That, too, explains some of its shortcomings.

This is one of those Internet sensations we should have seen coming (or thought of first). After all, all of us have taken the taken a “Harry Potter — Hogwarts House Sorting Hat Quiz” at one time or another…

Which Hogwarts house will you be sorted into?

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