It may not be all fun and games, so no matter if you think “I Write Like” should be disregarded or laughed at, you may want to take a closer look at the writing analyzer “I Write Like” and you just may learn more than you ever thought you would.
Amid the multitude of disheartening headlines in today’s newspaper I came across a delightfully frivolous article which lightened my mood and momentarily erased the creases that had formed between my brows and brought an actual smile to my morbidly melancholy mug.
Dmitry Chestnykh, a 27-year-old Russian software developer living in Montenegro whose software developing company, Coding Robots is made up of a small friendly team founded in 2002 decided their mission was to bring more fun to the world by producing handsome and handy pieces of software to share freely with the internet world. Dmitry also happens to be the creator of I Write Like which is what said article was describing.
I Write Like is a fun software program that compares your writing to 50 different authors which have been placed in a special algorithm to decipher your writing skills, analyze your word choices and writing styles, then compare them with those of the famous writers and spit out which author you most write like, hence the website’s name.
Here’s a direct quote from a Q&A interview with Dmitry himself;
“Actually, the algorithm is not a rocket science, and you can find it on every computer today. It’s a Bayesian classifier, which is widely used to fight spam on the Internet. Take for example the “Mark as spam” button in Gmail or Outlook. When you receive a message that you think is spam, you click this button, and the internal database gets trained to recognize future messages similar to this one as spam. This is basically how “I Write Like” works on my side: I feed it with “Frankenstein” and tell it, “This is Mary Shelley. Recognize works similar to this as Mary Shelley.” Of course, the algorithm is slightly different from the one used to detect spam, because it takes into account more stylistic features of the text, such as the number of words in sentences, the number of commas, semicolons, and whether the sentence is a direct speech or a quotation.”
And to add to the fun I just had to add this quote below to give you a real time look at what people are saying about this:
Here’s Chai Tea’s response after trying I Write Like;
“MLK Jr’s “I Have a Dream” is written in the style of Edgar Allan Poe.
“The Raven” is written in the style of William Shakespeare.
Shakespeare’s Sonnet 18 is written in the style of Charles Dickens.
The first paragraph of Great Expectations is written in the style of P.G. Wodehouse, whoever the heck that is.
It seems authors never write in their own styles.
I made up a game out of this: name any two authors and find the shortest chain of works between them.
(The above comment is also written in the style of P.G. Wodehouse, funnily enough. Should I be checking this guy out?)”
I’m still laughing about that one.
Then I tried it for myself by pasting a few different snippets of my own work into the generator and found I write like as many as 5 different authors. (That’s the number of times I attempted the analyzation).
On my first attempt, I got Stephen King; http://iwl.me/s/b3a26720
“Yeah, right”, I mused.
“If only I could rake in the cash this guy was clearing in a year, I’d be doing pretty darn great, but I think this software is full of it”.
On my next try, it was David Foster Wallace; http://iwl.me/s/d7939cdb
Then it was Vladimir Nabokov; http://iwl.me/s/c3e0655f. My next thought was, “Who the heck is Vladimir Nabokov?”
So of course, I had to google him only to find myself chagrined as his fame was supposedly world renowned and was quoted as being a master English prose stylist who also wrote Lolita which was slated #4 in the list of the Modern Library 100 Best Novels (and sad to say I’ve seen the movie, but never read the book).
Well, maybe this Dymitry has a good idea here. Since it all seems to be fun and games looking for your writing styles, and even if the author’s works themselves end up coming back as other author’s styles (which says to me the whole thing is bologna, but still a riot), it may have some real meaning in the end as it prods us to learn something we might otherwise have not even thought to educate ourselves with. Point and case with me learning all about Vladimir Nabokov. So all in all, I think it’s a great thing.
Who do you write like?
p.s. This article comes back as being styled after Cory Doctorow…
and who the heck is he?
Guess I’ll have to google him too!