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15 July 2010 @ 09:59 am
It's All About MEME: "I Write Like" Meme.  
wordslinger might find this amusing, as it's tangentially related to her much more rigorous project of stylistic analysis.

To be honest, I was going to blow this one off for two reasons:

One, because the results have been so varied that it's become a matter of parody;

And two, because I didn't think I'd produced a body of work with any degree of consistency in recent years. Certainly, I haven't cranked out any fiction in a long while.

I changed my mind for two reasons:

One, because leonard_arlotte reported remarkably consistent results from his LiveJournal entries;

And two, because I realized that my comics blog was a deliberate attempt to maintain a consisten "voice" throughout its long-form entries.

Out of ten long-form entries, I got the following results:

One J. D. Salinger:

I write like
J. D. Salinger

I Write Like by Mémoires, Mac journal software. Analyze your writing!

Four H. P. Lovecraft:

I write like
H. P. Lovecraft

I Write Like by Mémoires, Mac journal software. Analyze your writing!

And five David Foster Wallace:

I Write Like by Mémoires, Mac journal software. Analyze your writing!

...to which I can only echo leonard_arlotte's reaction: who?

Illiterate Philistine that I am, I've never read Salinger. The Lovecraft results, however, did not surprise me in the least; like HPL, I have a penchant for purple prose, archaic adjectives, and gratuitous grandiloquence. I suspect that if the algorithm were keyed to identify italics, my writing would have shown even more kinship to that of Unca Howard. One of the HPL-tagged episodes did, in fact, have several FULLY CAPITALIZED PASSAGES, though that was more in emulation of Jack "King" Kirby; I rather doubt that the meme-encoders included his Groovily Bombastic Scriptage in their algorithms.

Were I in a more frivolous mood, and had more respect for the underlying algorithms of random internettery, I might dig out some of my college papers (aside from the one that got repurposed as a KDDR entry) and see how they test out; even when I'm writing serious technical discourse, my florid style often bleeds through, and I can never resist a good chain of alliteration.

For the record, I analyzed this post, and got H.P. Lovecraft again. Given that I found myself deliberately emphasizing the Lovecraftian tendencies of my style as I wrote, that's not only unsurprising, but quite probably biased: "gaming the game", as it were. So, grains of salt all around, and 'ware your blood pressure, all and sundry.
If the meme-writers had my sense of humor, any text that referenced the "I Write Like" page itself would be weighted toward Douglas Hofstadter.

gatewalkergatewalker on July 15th, 2010 05:18 pm (UTC)
After pasting my most recent fanfic chapters into that, I got two different results. In Fate & Fortune, I apparently write like Douglas Adams. Alright, that's cool enough.

For Sword & Shadow, I seem to write like Dan Brown.

I'm not sure what to make of that.
Stalbonstalbon on July 16th, 2010 12:07 am (UTC)
I have to agree. Plugged in several paragraphs from a dialogue-heavy crime drama piece I wrote, and it tagged me for Dan Brown, too. I'm...kinda possibly unhappy about that.
Wordslingerwordslinger on July 15th, 2010 07:58 pm (UTC)
Oooooh!!!1 gottatry! gottatry!
Wordslingerwordslinger on July 15th, 2010 08:17 pm (UTC)
It says I write like Ray Bradbury.

Hmm. I like Ray Bradbury! Off to check it with more text!
Eredieneredien on July 15th, 2010 09:32 pm (UTC)
David Foster Wallace's writing is fantastic. I recommend the book of his short essays, A Supposedly Fun Thing I'll Never Do Again, to get a taste for his writing. It's great because there are essays about practically everything in there, and if you don't like one, you'll probably like the next one. I don't really care that much about tennis, but while reading his essay about tennis, I wouldn't have been able to say that.
McGuffinhitchkitty on July 16th, 2010 01:42 am (UTC)
Based on the newbie essays I wrote for the IronClaw mailing list, apparently I write like Jack London (defense skills), David Foster Wallace (choosing ranged and melee weapons), Ursula K. Le Guin (mages in combat) and James Joyce (great houses).

Okay, then.