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I Write Like
July 14, 2010 7:51 AM   Subscribe

I Write Like... Check what famous writer you write like with this statistical analysis tool, which analyzes your word choice and writing style and compares them to those of famous writers.
posted by swift (376 comments total) 30 users marked this as a favorite

 
Aw crap, I got Dan Brown.

*kills science, history, logic, and good writing*
posted by kmz at 7:54 AM on July 14, 2010 [2 favorites]


I tried two successive blog posts of mine. I got "Stephen King" and "Dan Brown".

I think I'll pass on the "badge".
posted by DU at 7:55 AM on July 14, 2010 [3 favorites]


I got Chuck Palahniuk. I am so fucking insulted.
posted by Houyhnhnm at 7:55 AM on July 14, 2010 [1 favorite]


I also got Dan Brown, but it was business correspondence that I submitted.
posted by codacorolla at 7:55 AM on July 14, 2010 [1 favorite]


I got Kurt Vonnegut
posted by vacapinta at 7:56 AM on July 14, 2010


I put in the most recent Lie Blog entry, and got Nabokov. Hahahahaha.
posted by millipede at 7:57 AM on July 14, 2010


I tried to different pieces, and got H.P. Lovecraft & P.G. Wodehouse, respectively. I don't know which bothers me more.
posted by .kobayashi. at 7:57 AM on July 14, 2010 [3 favorites]


I freelance for a certain topic for both a blog and a business review. According to this:

My blog postings read like Dan Brown.

My business review articles read like Isaac Asimov.

I can't tell whether to give up writing forever (Dan Brown? Are you serious?) or squeal in delight (my articles are all about robotics. Asimov? Seriously? WIN!)
posted by olinerd at 7:57 AM on July 14, 2010


Douglas Adams. :D
posted by Outlawyr at 7:58 AM on July 14, 2010


Although my longest comment ever here netted me Nabokov. Maybe I need to start writing everything as if I were writing on AskMe.
posted by .kobayashi. at 7:59 AM on July 14, 2010


Another Stephen King here... I wonder if I should worry or just lean back, don't give a damn and wait for the $$$ to roll in.
posted by Cironian at 7:59 AM on July 14, 2010 [2 favorites]


Actually, for a technical manual or tutorial, writing like Dan Brown might be good. Simple concepts expressed with yawning clarity.
posted by DU at 7:59 AM on July 14, 2010 [1 favorite]


I typed in a rather pedestrian account of light changes in Northern Sweden and got: James Joyce! Maybe I ought to keep writing.
posted by kozad at 7:59 AM on July 14, 2010 [1 favorite]


H. P. Lovecraft :0
posted by fire&wings at 8:00 AM on July 14, 2010


Up next: the Spark purity test.
posted by Doug Stewart at 8:00 AM on July 14, 2010 [6 favorites]


I entered a passage from Charles Dickens and got Charles Dickens.
I entered writing from Hunter S. Thompson and got Dan Brown.

I think the repertoire is limited.
posted by SLC Mom at 8:00 AM on July 14, 2010 [27 favorites]


My last two blog posts netted me Dan Brown and Harry Harrison. Hooray?
posted by backseatpilot at 8:00 AM on July 14, 2010


I, too, got Chuck Palahniuk. That sucks, because I really wanted to be told that I write like Jane Austen.
posted by Short Attention Sp at 8:01 AM on July 14, 2010 [1 favorite]


I tried samples of King, Palanhiuk and Brown and they all write like themselves.
posted by codacorolla at 8:01 AM on July 14, 2010 [1 favorite]


I gave it this and got P.G Wodehouse.

SCORE!
posted by Jofus at 8:01 AM on July 14, 2010 [1 favorite]


I got Dan Brown and then Stephen King. I'm insulted. Also, I'm starting a novel that I'll get someone to blurb "Reads like a cross between Dan Brown and Stephen King!!!" Then I will laugh all the way to the bank.
posted by dortmunder at 8:01 AM on July 14, 2010 [2 favorites]


I tried four different postings and got Stephen King, Raymond Chandler, Vladmir Nabakov, and Kurt Vonnegut.

At least there's no Dan Brown?
posted by dinty_moore at 8:01 AM on July 14, 2010


Huh. I fed in a few paragraphs of my paper on sexual language in Shakespeare's sonnets, and got back:

I write like James Joyce.

and yes I said yes I will yes.
posted by Elsa at 8:01 AM on July 14, 2010 [8 favorites]


I pasted my novel-in-progress and it says I write like J.R.R. Tolkien. I'll take that.
posted by The Winsome Parker Lewis at 8:01 AM on July 14, 2010


I put in Genesis 1:1-6 (New International Version) and got Dan Brown.
posted by jjray at 8:01 AM on July 14, 2010 [21 favorites]


I tried 5 different short stories.

4 times: Stephen King

1 time: Shakespeare

So I'm going to be rich and remembered for centuries!
posted by new brand day at 8:01 AM on July 14, 2010


Also got James Joyce....
posted by modernnomad at 8:02 AM on July 14, 2010


Eh, I put in three pieces all done in the same style and got Margaret Atwood, Dan Brown and Steven King. Though I did refresh and enter the third piece two more times and it was Steven King all three times, so it doesn't appear to be randomly assigning author names.
posted by The Straightener at 8:02 AM on July 14, 2010


Apparently I write like a cross between J. D. Salinger and Stephen King. This is either hugely complimentary or deeply insulting.

I haven't decided which yet.
posted by quin at 8:02 AM on July 14, 2010 [1 favorite]


I put in the first 2 paragraphs of The Great Gatsby and got H. P. Lovecraft.
posted by Wayman Tisdale at 8:02 AM on July 14, 2010 [18 favorites]


Margaret Atwood (my most recent work) and James Joyce (one from two years back). Finally, someone (or thing) recognizes my genius.
posted by dances_with_sneetches at 8:03 AM on July 14, 2010


Lovecraft and George Orwell...
posted by jim in austin at 8:03 AM on July 14, 2010


This has been going round the office like mad.

Sample 1 (from SF short): Stephen King
Sample 2 (Creepy atmospheric intro from horror novel): James Joyce
Sample 3 (Dialogue-heavy page from horror novel): Vladimir Nabokov?!?

You know, I'm OK with this.
posted by Mister_A at 8:03 AM on July 14, 2010


This post got Margaret Atwood. This one got Chuck Palahniuk.

However, this post (a ficlet) got Stephen King. I'll keep that.
posted by grabbingsand at 8:03 AM on July 14, 2010


Stephen King on the first story, Nabokov on the second. I should put a few blank pages between those two. If they touch they might explode.
posted by The Man from Lardfork at 8:04 AM on July 14, 2010


I typed in a rather pedestrian account of light changes in Northern Sweden and got: James Joyce!

Hardly surprising, considering the 87-page section on the specifics of northernly illumination in Ulysses.
posted by Cironian at 8:05 AM on July 14, 2010 [2 favorites]


I put in an excerpt from Pnin by Vladimir Nabokov and it came up "Jane Austen".

Buh.
posted by tetralix at 8:05 AM on July 14, 2010 [2 favorites]


Wow, and my review [self-link] of 1985 horror film The Stepfather got me:

I write like Vladimir Nabokov.

I am keeping some heady company... or would be, if I thought this was an accurate assessment.
posted by Elsa at 8:05 AM on July 14, 2010


James Joyce too...
posted by miss tea at 8:06 AM on July 14, 2010


I typed in a Joan Didion paragraph/sentence and got: James Joyce. I'm guessing they have just a few dozen authors they toss out.
posted by kozad at 8:06 AM on July 14, 2010


A MetaFilter comment yields Chuck Palahniuk, a blog post suggests Dan Brown, and a US Public Policy term paper comes up with H. P. Lovecraft.

Just for fun I put in ten lines from Green Eggs and Ham in the box and it found it characteristic of Raymond Chandler.
posted by cgomez at 8:06 AM on July 14, 2010 [1 favorite]


I got Vonnegut once and Brown once. I guess it means I'm clear and readable, which isn't so bad.
posted by Alvy Ampersand at 8:06 AM on July 14, 2010


OK, put in copy from a website I'm working on and got...


IAN FLEMING!
posted by Mister_A at 8:06 AM on July 14, 2010


Thesis defense statement: Isaac Asimov
Blog entry: Dan Brown
Personal religious essay: Oscar Wilde

I think I'm proudest of the first one.
posted by l33tpolicywonk at 8:06 AM on July 14, 2010


This comment reads like James Joyce.
posted by swift at 8:06 AM on July 14, 2010


I call shenanigans. It tells me "Dan Brown" no matter what I put into it, but I'm pretty sure I didn't use the phrases "My God!" or "he chuckled," or "cordovan loafers" once.
posted by usonian at 8:06 AM on July 14, 2010 [7 favorites]


Raymond Chandler
posted by iconomy at 8:07 AM on July 14, 2010


I posted a rather dull chunk of a policy manual I have been rewriting/editing, and it told me I was Dan Brown. When I randomly added "squamous," "rugose," "ghastly," and "unnameable," into the text, I was Stephen King. I guess it takes more to be Lovecraft. Maybe I should toss in some Pope-esque grammar....
posted by GenjiandProust at 8:07 AM on July 14, 2010 [2 favorites]


I write like
Vladimir Nabokov
posted by JtJ at 8:07 AM on July 14, 2010


H.P. Lovecraft.

Nope. Not even close.
posted by Astro Zombie at 8:08 AM on July 14, 2010


Three different posts, the first Stephen King, the second Vonnegut and the third, Chuck Palahniuk. So much for consistency. I'm going to write something while drunk, and try it again to see if I can score a Falkner or Thomson.
posted by Slap*Happy at 8:08 AM on July 14, 2010


I put in the first 2 paragraphs of The Great Gatsby and got H. P. Lovecraft.

"In my younger and more vulnerable years my father gave me some advice that I've been turning over in my mind ever since.

"Whenever you feel like criticizing any one," he told me, "just remember that all the people in this world haven't had the mind-bending otherworldly horrors that you've had."
posted by The Whelk at 8:08 AM on July 14, 2010 [9 favorites]


First 2 paragraphs of the Windowx XP Home Edition EULA gives Dan Brown.
posted by fire&wings at 8:10 AM on July 14, 2010 [1 favorite]


I totally don't buy this, but at least I didn't get Dan Brown! I pasted three different blog posts and got: Dickens, Salinger and Steven King.
posted by lunasol at 8:10 AM on July 14, 2010


I entered Emily Dickinson's Split the Lark and got Oscar Wilde. Huh?
posted by Short Attention Sp at 8:10 AM on July 14, 2010 [1 favorite]


Four of my MeFi posts got "Charles Dickens"

That's weird.
posted by zarq at 8:11 AM on July 14, 2010


"How is babby formed???
how to get girl pragnent?


They need to do way instain mother> who kill thier babbys. becuse these babby cant frigth back? it was on the news this mroing a mother in ar who had kill her three kids. they are taking the three babby back to new york too lady to rest my pary are with the father who lost his children ; i am truley sorry for your lots"


...James Joyce.
posted by fire&wings at 8:12 AM on July 14, 2010 [24 favorites]


Hmm I wrote this just for the chumpy:

My mind became unhinged at the merest contemplation of the unspeakable horror that lurked in that benighted crypt. Chthonian winds chilled my entire being as I stepped closer to the cyclopean masonry that marked the entry to the crypt.

And it said Dan Brown! Thing has a boner for Dan Brown. Also, I would read more Dan Brown if it was like this.
posted by Mister_A at 8:12 AM on July 14, 2010


I blog like Isaac Asimov? WOW way cool and primps self in front of the mirror
posted by infini at 8:13 AM on July 14, 2010


I put a couple of longer MeFi posts in and got back Dan Brown for both. I felt rather humiliated, but at least it appears I'm in good company. :)
posted by Malor at 8:13 AM on July 14, 2010


Apparently when I give written interviews I write like Dan Brown but my doctoral dissertation is written like Douglas Adams.
posted by ob at 8:14 AM on July 14, 2010


sorry i was made these post because a error... administrator!!! please hope me!

Mario Puzo.
posted by Houyhnhnm at 8:14 AM on July 14, 2010


I tried several samples from my defunct blog & variously got Kurt Vonnegut, Dan Brown (more than once), H.P. Lovecraft, Vladimir Nabokov and Rudyard Kipling...
posted by misteraitch at 8:15 AM on July 14, 2010


It says Chuck Palahniuk writes like me.
posted by lore at 8:15 AM on July 14, 2010 [1 favorite]


I just pasted PKD's "War Game" short story into it, and it said the writing was like Dan Brown. So.
posted by easement1 at 8:16 AM on July 14, 2010


Dan Brown? DAN BROWN?!
posted by sallybrown at 8:16 AM on July 14, 2010


I write like Homer. Geez, didn't see that coming.
posted by uraniumwilly at 8:16 AM on July 14, 2010


I think Dan Brown is probably based on short simple sentences with simple noun verb arrangements given how many explanatory articles are getting it. It's not really able to distinguish between see Tom Hanks run and see financial markets fall. Ooooh I'm going to go cram various news sources stories into it during lunch.
posted by edbles at 8:17 AM on July 14, 2010


William Shakespeare. I will not complain nor submit any other text for analysis.
posted by mrgrimm at 8:17 AM on July 14, 2010 [3 favorites]


What th- Ian Fleming? I wanted Margaret Atwood! [kicks ground]
posted by castlebravo at 8:17 AM on July 14, 2010


Stephen King here too.

No wonder he's so prolific. It's obviously been easy for him to find plenty of people who can write like him.
posted by Joe Beese at 8:17 AM on July 14, 2010


I pasted in "A Modest Proposal" and it said Jonathan Swift.
posted by swift at 8:17 AM on July 14, 2010


Reminds me of this Achewood strip
posted by Jon_Evil at 8:17 AM on July 14, 2010


i tried three different things and got
Raymond Chandler
J. D. Salinger
James Joyce


interesting.
posted by sio42 at 8:18 AM on July 14, 2010


Okay I just wasted a lot of time on this. Got one Dan Brown (ugh), one Lovecraft (weird, but kind of cool) and one Douglass Adams (YAY!)

Mix in with those I also got like 6 Stephen Kings. So maybe that's the bigger theme here. Anyway, I like King's writing style, so I'll take it as a sort-of compliment.
posted by Navelgazer at 8:18 AM on July 14, 2010


I write like Kurt Vonnegut? I find that hard to believe.
posted by ThePinkSuperhero at 8:19 AM on July 14, 2010 [1 favorite]


I entered the YA novel I wrote for Nanowrimo a few years ago and got Chuck Palahniuk.

Pretty sure the author it chooses has nothing to do with the structure of the text entered.
posted by luvcraft at 8:19 AM on July 14, 2010


Damn, I was so happy that I got Douglas Adams that I decided to test it. I put in John Donne "A Valediction: Of Weeping" and I got Ian Fleming. I now have my suspicions as to the accuracy of this text analysis thingy.
posted by ob at 8:19 AM on July 14, 2010 [1 favorite]


I'm not sure how the program notes I wrote about the Vesperae solennes de confessore resemble H. P. Lovecraft......
posted by Thomas Tallis is my Homeboy at 8:19 AM on July 14, 2010


altho my mefi stuff gets dan brown.

my creative writing/poetry got the other guys.
posted by sio42 at 8:20 AM on July 14, 2010


HA HA HA, YESSS

POSTED A BUNCH OF MY #TWURTS ON THERE AND GOT JAMES JOYCE

@N0RABARNACL3 HOW YOU LIKE ME NOW
posted by Greg Nog at 8:20 AM on July 14, 2010 [10 favorites]


uraniumwilly: "I write like Homer. Geez, didn't see that coming."

D'oh!
posted by ShawnStruck at 8:20 AM on July 14, 2010


Hemmingway, Atwood, Asimov, Austen, Puzo, Carroll, Joyce, Palahniuk, King, Harrison, and Doyle. I either have no discernable consistent writing style or this algorithm is a new and highly efficient PRNG.
posted by adipocere at 8:20 AM on July 14, 2010


I got H.P. Lovecraft first time, Dan Brown on the second attempt. I think I will stop now.
posted by TheophileEscargot at 8:20 AM on July 14, 2010


I copied in the first two paragraphs of a short story I had in a text file and got George Orwell. Huzzah. Then I fixed the misspellings and got Dan Brown. Which seems...doubleplus bad.

I copied in a blog post about Rod Blagojevich and Lindsay Lohan and got Mark Twain; another about Anna Wintour's interview on 60 Minutes got me James Joyce.

This algorithm is fucked up. Or I am. Or more likely both.
posted by MCMikeNamara at 8:21 AM on July 14, 2010


Jesus - I just entered a sample from my work-in-progress and got...

A BOOK DEAL!!!!!!





(kidding!)
posted by Jody Tresidder at 8:23 AM on July 14, 2010


Astro Zombie, I entered in some of your metafilter comments and it said you write like some dude named Max Sparber.
posted by cjorgensen at 8:23 AM on July 14, 2010


Fragment One = Stephen King
(makes sense, I guess. I read a lot of Stephen when I was a teen, young adult, learning how to write)

Fragment Two: Chuck Palahniuk
(huh? I don't believe I've ever read a word of the guy's stuff. And if I have it's only been a paragraph or two in a bookstore. Of course, it's possible he's read some of my earlier stuff.)

Fragment Three: Douglas Adams
(why? Because there's a reference to bar called the Crab Nebula?)
posted by philip-random at 8:23 AM on July 14, 2010


Is there any reason to think these results aren't totally meaningless?

I mean, I got Orwell so I'm not complaining. But still.
posted by resiny at 8:23 AM on July 14, 2010 [1 favorite]


I pasted the first three paragraphs of "Letter from a Birmingham Jail" and it said Kurt Vonnegut.
posted by Johnny Wallflower at 8:25 AM on July 14, 2010


From three very different periods of my life, I got Vonnegut, Dan Brown, and Nabokov. So I guess it's two-thirds obviously correct and one-third okay brb killing myself.
posted by Tomorrowful at 8:26 AM on July 14, 2010


Chapter one: Chuck Palahniuk
Chapter two: Vladimir Nabokov

Shrug. Neither of them are people I would really identify in my writing.

Also it reckoned Mervyn Peake wrote like George Orwell, and that Murakami writes like Vonnegut, so... yea.
posted by opsin at 8:26 AM on July 14, 2010


So, on a whim I decided to plug in a couple of different comments I've written here over the years, and they came back as Raymond Chandler, Ian Flemming, Dan Brown, J. D. Salinger (again), and H. P. Lovecraft.

At best, I think it could be said that I write like other writers. Stylistic consistency be damned!
posted by quin at 8:26 AM on July 14, 2010


Dan Brown for my research paper? Okay. It does draw cryptic conclusions from ancient texts. And I do plan to cast Tom Hanks for the movie.

Pasted in some text from actual writers:

Kurt Vonnegut writes like himself
Vladimir Nabokov writes like Charles Dickens (!)
Emily Dickinson writes like H.P. Lovecraft (!!)
The King James Bible, Book of Revelations reads like William Shakespeare
H.P. Lovecraft writes like H.G. Wells, Dan Brown, and himself on the third try
Edgar Allen Poe writes like himself
Isaac Asimov writes like himself
William Shakespeare writes like James Fenimore Cooper
posted by qxntpqbbbqxl at 8:26 AM on July 14, 2010 [3 favorites]


I used a log of my (temporary) journey into madness and got Lovecraft...
posted by Godwin Interjection at 8:29 AM on July 14, 2010


P.G. Wodehouse?!

*puts gun in mouth, cocks hammer*
posted by fatbird at 8:29 AM on July 14, 2010 [1 favorite]


I write like Isaac Asimov http://iwl.me/s/726f1bdc
posted by MikeWarot at 8:29 AM on July 14, 2010


All your base are belong to us = William Shakespeare

Er...
posted by phatkitten at 8:30 AM on July 14, 2010 [1 favorite]


I write like Ian Fleming. That made me laugh out loud (mostly from relief, I was afraid it would say Dan Brown.)
posted by govtdrone at 8:32 AM on July 14, 2010


100 comments and I'm still the only Tolkien here? I mean, I know I write weird but holy crap.
posted by The Winsome Parker Lewis at 8:32 AM on July 14, 2010 [1 favorite]


James Fenimore Cooper

Umm, ok?
posted by T.D. Strange at 8:32 AM on July 14, 2010


Ugh. From looking at what is being measured - "vocabulary (use of words), number of words, commas, and semicolons in sentences, number of sentences with quotation marks and dashes," followed by someone in the comments testing an Atwood story and instead of getting Atwood, getting Joyce, I rate this slightly less accurate than those "are you right brained or left brained???" blinking tests in advertisements. Of course, I did an M.A. thesis on authorship attribution features, so I might be overly curmudgeonly.
posted by wending my way at 8:33 AM on July 14, 2010 [4 favorites]


I got Kurt Vonnegut.
I tried it again with a long-ish MetaFilter comment I wrote a while ago and got J.K. Rowling.
posted by The Great Big Mulp at 8:33 AM on July 14, 2010


My first two short stories both came back Dan Brown. Although I'm seeing how may Dan Browns are cropping up, so I may not be as depressed as I initially was at that.
posted by Pirate-Bartender-Zombie-Monkey at 8:34 AM on July 14, 2010


The front page of Metafilter as of a second ago comes back as HP Lovecraft.
posted by Tomorrowful at 8:36 AM on July 14, 2010


I got Stephen King.

When I put in an excerpt of King's actual writing (from On Writing), it came back with 'I write like H.P. Lovecraft'.
posted by Bourbonesque at 8:36 AM on July 14, 2010


I entered the preface to Obama's "Dreams of My Father" and got Dan Brown.

mystery solved. commence teabagging.
posted by Hammond Rye at 8:37 AM on July 14, 2010 [3 favorites]


Chuck Palahniuk. I can live with that.
posted by bondcliff at 8:37 AM on July 14, 2010


Stephen King.

Fuck!
posted by tiger yang at 8:37 AM on July 14, 2010


Apparently "Life on the Mississippi" is the result of a collaboration between H.P. Lovecraft, James Joyce, and Mark Twain.
posted by sanko at 8:38 AM on July 14, 2010


100 comments and I'm still the only Tolkien here? I mean, I know I write weird but holy crap.


Sounds like you need to start introducing some female characters of note. Also, lay off the orcs.
posted by joe lisboa at 8:38 AM on July 14, 2010 [2 favorites]


I fed it a couple of forum posts and it seems that I sound like James Joyce when I prevaricate over which tyres to buy. Maybe it's because I usually refer to my car by it's name (Ilsa) instead of make or model and the software assumes it's a post about something other than what it really is.
posted by MarchHare at 8:39 AM on July 14, 2010


I posted a function from some of my C code, and got James Joyce. A larger block of code gave Harry Harrison. This definitely needs an "I write like a robot" option.
posted by bessel functions seem unnecessarily complicated at 8:39 AM on July 14, 2010


I started with the phrase:

Gloria withdrew her forearm from before her eyes and stood for a moment. She wrinkled her nose and blinked in the sunlight. She withdrew a few cautious steps.

Which is a very edited excerpt from Isaac Asimov's "I Robot".

Then:

Gloria withdrew her forearm from before her eyes and stood for a moment. She wrinkled her nose and blinked in the sunlight. She withdrew a few.

And I got Vladimir Nabokov. Finally:

Gloria withdrew her forearm from before her eyes and stood for a moment. She wrinkled her nose and blinked in the sunlight. She withdrew.

Which gave me Stephen King.

I wonder what its algorithm is based upon.
posted by hanoixan at 8:40 AM on July 14, 2010


Tried three times, and got Stephen King once and James Joyce twice. This does not immediately strike me much as two great tastes that taste great together, but maybe it depends on the terms of the analysis.
posted by dilettante at 8:40 AM on July 14, 2010


barbara cartland??????
posted by pyramid termite at 8:41 AM on July 14, 2010 [1 favorite]


Woo-hoo! Vonnegut. I would try pasting in some other entries, but I like this result enough to keep it.
posted by JDHarper at 8:41 AM on July 14, 2010


Tried two blog posts. One got Chuck Palahniuk, the other got Raymond Chandler. Both answers better than I expected - I feared the dreaded Dan Brown.
posted by dnash at 8:42 AM on July 14, 2010


Craigslist ad for an apartment? Stephen King.

Boring recounting of my day on Friday? Nabokov.

Um, what?
posted by Night_owl at 8:42 AM on July 14, 2010


My first entry got Leo Tolstoy. Maybe because the sample I entered was 1,000 pages long. My next entry (a query about Frank Sinatra) netted me an Ian Fleming.
posted by Man-Thing at 8:42 AM on July 14, 2010


My grad school statement of purpose got me Douglas Adams. All of my technical writing got me H. P Lovecraft. One mock* suicide note got me Ernest Hemingway. The other mock suicide note got me Edgar Allen Poe. And a self penned poem got me Jonathan Swift. How many more tries till I get David Foster Wallace or Terry Pratchett?

*Part of a short story collection, each of which start with a suicide note of the protagonist*

*I use the term protagonist quite loosely, of course

posted by prufrock at 8:42 AM on July 14, 2010


Does this just use a simple word histogram approach? Even a bigram-based HMM would probably be more accurate.
posted by demiurge at 8:43 AM on July 14, 2010


I put in "I farted. It really smelled. My fart smelled like poop." and got Stephen King.

I put in "This morning I took the largest dump ever. I almost had to break it apart with the plunger!" and got George Orwell.
posted by XQUZYPHYR at 8:44 AM on July 14, 2010 [3 favorites]


Joyce apparently!
posted by nfg at 8:44 AM on July 14, 2010


Posting in chunks from various blog posts yielded Dan Brown (*wail*), H. P. Lovecraft (I don't recall writing about unimaginable horrors from the depths, but there's always a first time), and William Shakespeare (who must have had a sideline in writing book reviews about contemporary fiction). A nineteenth-century book review, incidentally, produced James Joyce, which would have horrified both Joyce and (if s/he had access to a time machine) the reviewer in question.
posted by thomas j wise at 8:44 AM on July 14, 2010


I write like John Milton damn it.

According to this thing, some intro stuff I wrote for a web page cataloging Civil War monuments reads like Dan Brown.
posted by marxchivist at 8:45 AM on July 14, 2010


I just received notification that 7 out of 12 of my facebook friends that participated in the "I Write Like..." application have similar styles to Kurt Vonnegut. Should I "Allow"?
posted by psylosyren at 8:45 AM on July 14, 2010


Am I the only person taking this test who isn't a reasonably published writer? Who are you people? Damn.
posted by adipocere at 8:46 AM on July 14, 2010 [1 favorite]


I write like
J. D. Salinger

PEACE OUT MOTHERFUCKERS IM OFF TO NEW HAMPSHIRE*

*actually from nh
posted by nathancaswell at 8:46 AM on July 14, 2010


I have tried this six times now and have yet to get the same author. I've gotten Joyce, Dan Brown, Margaret Atwood, George Orwell, Stephen King, and J.D. Salinger, depending on which blog or MeFi post I've pasted in.
posted by XQUZYPHYR at 8:47 AM on July 14, 2010


Ha. So crap. And this comment, for what it's worth, sounds like... Raymond Chandler!
posted by mondaygreens at 8:48 AM on July 14, 2010


I write like...

Edgar Allen Poe
Vladimir Nabokov
Chuck Palahniuk (ugh)
H. P. Lovecraft
Stephen King
and, yes, Dan Brown.

I think I've lost interest in submitting now but so far there has been no duplicates among the samples I've submitted.

Man, you'd think agents would be clamoring to sign me up.
posted by nanojath at 8:50 AM on July 14, 2010


Yeah, my technical/academic writing is all giving me HP Lovecraft*, too. Huh?

My first major exposure to HPL was, oddly enough, in an upper level Spanish-language literature class. As a result, I still think of this person as "A-che Peh Loave-craft"
posted by heyforfour at 8:50 AM on July 14, 2010


Raymond Chandler, Raymond Chandler, Stephen King, Raymond Chandler. Hmmmm

Judging from the number of works I have read by each author I would have expected my style to have been formed by Dickens, Wodehouse, King, and Shakespeare. I don't think I've ever read anything by Raymond Chandler.
posted by Secret Life of Gravy at 8:52 AM on July 14, 2010


I have used this tool to solve an age old mystery by pasting in Genesis, Chapter 1, King James Version.

It says it was written by Kurt Vonnegut.
posted by Comrade_robot at 8:52 AM on July 14, 2010 [1 favorite]


Am I the only person taking this test who isn't a reasonably published writer?

I, for one, am not a reasonably published writer.
posted by Secret Life of Gravy at 8:53 AM on July 14, 2010


It is reassuring to know that Lincoln, in his Gettysburg Address, writes like Lovecraft.
posted by Postroad at 8:54 AM on July 14, 2010 [1 favorite]


Interesting. Dan Brown writes like Dan Brown. Stephen King writes like Stephen King. But Kurt Vonnegut writes like Douglas Adams. Thankfully, Douglas Adams still writes like Douglas Adams.
posted by crunchland at 8:55 AM on July 14, 2010 [1 favorite]


Thank god mine didn't come up "Tim Lahaye."
posted by zzazazz at 8:56 AM on July 14, 2010 [3 favorites]


I am a reasonably unpublished writer with dreams the size of Cadillacs.
posted by The Winsome Parker Lewis at 8:58 AM on July 14, 2010


100 comments and I'm still the only Tolkien here? I mean, I know I write weird but holy crap.

Parker, how many ballads are in your book?
posted by cavalier at 8:58 AM on July 14, 2010 [1 favorite]


This thing is a little silly.

(Three different stories resulted in Chuck Palahniuk, Mark Twain and Stephen King.)
posted by Bookhouse at 8:59 AM on July 14, 2010


Hmm, there is one part where I break prose. Not exactly a ballad but I guess the algorithm might interpret it that way. Most of my characters are female, FWIW, and nary an orc in sight.
posted by The Winsome Parker Lewis at 9:00 AM on July 14, 2010 [1 favorite]


An acquaintance's notes about IWL:

'So then I started messing with really short writing samples.
"help help help help help help help" = L. Frank Baum
"cowardice cowardice cowardice cowardice cowardice" = Ray Bradbury
"tuna tuna tuna tuna tuna tuna tuna" = Dan Brown
"cowardice cowardice cowardice tuna tuna" = Ray Bradbury
"cowardice cowardice tuna tuna tuna" = Dan Brown

Interestingly, the Bradbury/Brown cowardice/tuna cutoff seems roughly proportional.... But the number of tunas required levels off and never exceeds 18. Even 512 cowardices can be turned into Dan Brown with a mere 18 tunas.
'
posted by ardgedee at 9:01 AM on July 14, 2010 [17 favorites]


Apparently I am seriously old school, as my latest long comment in MetaFilter got me P.G. Wodehouse.
posted by bearwife at 9:01 AM on July 14, 2010


My thesis (about Ireland) got me James Joyce. My last blog post was Nabokov. A story written by my daughter's 2nd grade classmate got Stephen King.
posted by Ruki at 9:03 AM on July 14, 2010


Uh...I got some guy called Alfredo McGillicuddity.


Who the hell is Alfredo McGillicuddity??
posted by Skygazer at 9:03 AM on July 14, 2010


Yeah, I think it's sensitive to any samples of work though. One of my pastes had some errant word wrapping resulting in several short lines and all of a sudden it's Poe. Clean up the word wrapping and it's Vonnegut(!?), paste some more business text into it and get Stephen King. I'd be curious what the algo is looking for, but still, kind of fun.
posted by cavalier at 9:03 AM on July 14, 2010


Well, I guess I'm flattered. I gave 3 samples. The first came back as Douglas Adams. Well! I've not only read his books, I'm only one degree removed, by lucky chance.

The other two came back as Kurt Vonnegut. Oh my. I can't even claim a lot of influence from that quarter, I've only actually read one of Mr. Vonnegut's works, and I was too young to appreciate it properly.

And those samples were just stuff I wrote first thing in the morning, during the brief period I actually tried that 750-Words Daily website that was here in the blue, back in March.
posted by Goofyy at 9:04 AM on July 14, 2010


Can't help it:

Metafilter: can be turned into Dan Brown with a mere 18 tunas.
posted by cavalier at 9:04 AM on July 14, 2010 [1 favorite]


Fuck! I got Charles Bukowski.
posted by mazola at 9:05 AM on July 14, 2010


J.D. Salinger, Kurt Vonnegut, Vladimir Nabokov. No Dan Brown here!
posted by schroedinger at 9:06 AM on July 14, 2010


All the comments on this entry came up Stephen King.
posted by zzazazz at 9:07 AM on July 14, 2010


Played around with this last night. Fed it chapters of my novel in progress and got, variously:

Chuck Palahniuk, Edgar Allen Poe, Isaac Asimov, Stephen King and (yes, dammit) Dan Brown. In fact, while my prose yielded these mixed results, apparently my poetry is all indistinguishable from Dan Brown's flaccid prose. Grr.

(This comment written in the style of Isaac Asimov.)
posted by saulgoodman at 9:08 AM on July 14, 2010


All the comments on this entry came up Stephen King.

Ha! Look again.
posted by saulgoodman at 9:09 AM on July 14, 2010


Dan Brown. Dear god. Then I put in another sample and got H.P. Lovecraft so that was okay except for the telling fact that the blog post I put in first mentioned not only Elder Gods but also occult forces and the Nameless Ones. The second sample mostly talked about my crush on China Mieville. From this we can learn two important things: 1) Dan Brown is going to be first up against the wall when the seas rip asunder and a terrible booming shakes the world as the slow heaving of those who must not be named emerges and 2) H.P. Lovecraft had a huge crush on China Mieville.
posted by mygothlaundry at 9:09 AM on July 14, 2010


I tried a personal email and three papers from when I was in college.

The email is like Dan Brown.
The report on radical behaviorism is like Edgar Allan Poe.
The analysis of dystopian societies is like Kurt Vonnegut.
The psychoanlysis of J.D. Salinger characters is like Arthur Conan Doyle.
posted by cranberry_nut at 9:10 AM on July 14, 2010


J.D. Salinger, Kurt Vonnegut, Vladimir Nabokov. No Dan Brown here!

Damn, I wanted a Vonnegut or a Nabokov. Anybody managed to score a Dostoevsky yet?
posted by saulgoodman at 9:10 AM on July 14, 2010


Issac Asimov or Dan Brown. What a combo....
posted by redbeard at 9:13 AM on July 14, 2010


I got Rudyard Kipling on my incomplete Guns and Grimoire nanowrimo work. I'm not surprised.
posted by KirkJobSluder at 9:14 AM on July 14, 2010


An acquaintance's notes about IWL:

I had the same idea: butts butts butts butts .
posted by cortex at 9:14 AM on July 14, 2010 [3 favorites]


Anybody managed to score a Dostoevsky yet?

Oh right. They probably have to be authors writing in English to be included, to further the illusion.

posted by saulgoodman at 9:16 AM on July 14, 2010


I fed it Lovecraft's "The Whisperer in Darkness" (actually I had a friend do it for me because I'm behind a dumb firewall at the moment) and it said "Nabokov". :(
posted by luvcraft at 9:17 AM on July 14, 2010


OK, I put in a longish blog post I had made over the phone and laboriously typed with my thumbs and it came up Hemingway. That almost makes sense.
posted by umberto at 9:18 AM on July 14, 2010


An excerpt from a short story I wrote two years ago gives me H. P. Lovecraft.

I wish this thing had more writers. I want to give it my favorite thing I've ever written, this total Gay Talese ripoff, and see what it says. But somehow I doubt he's included on their list.

Now that I think about it, there's probably a ton of stuff I've written that I could identify as being a conscious ripoff of a certain writer I was reading at the time. But most of those were just writing exercises, really.

I love it when you read a book and fall so in love with the author's style that it just makes you want to write & write & write.
posted by Put the kettle on at 9:20 AM on July 14, 2010


Margaret Atwood (didn't know she liked quinoa!)

Ray Bradbury

Vladimir Nabokov
posted by rtha at 9:21 AM on July 14, 2010


I write public records disposition and retention schedules as a part of my job. They are pretty dry, bureaucratic, legal-ish, and we try to be clear but sometimes it ends up being kind of convoluted as we try to anticipate every question someone could ask about them...

H.P. Lovecraft
posted by marxchivist at 9:21 AM on July 14, 2010


When I put in a couple pages from my BA thesis, got H.P. Lovecraft.

When I put in several paragraphs from a letter I wrote to a company to complain of bad service to get a refund, I got James Joyce.

When I put in a couple emails I wrote to friends, I got Stephen King.

When I put in a cover letter I just sent to a potential job, I got Dan Brown.
No wonder I'm still unemployed.
posted by phunniemee at 9:22 AM on July 14, 2010 [2 favorites]


It says I write like Shakespeare. As if.
posted by tommasz at 9:22 AM on July 14, 2010


If you write LOL butts over and over it's Dickens!
posted by Mister_A at 9:23 AM on July 14, 2010


I put in three longish blog posts about what I had for dinner and got two Atwoods and a Nabokov. Sweet!
posted by Alvy Ampersand at 9:25 AM on July 14, 2010


Dan Brown. It's all a conspiracy of the Priory of Sion!
posted by MythMaker at 9:25 AM on July 14, 2010


I'm seriously not getting all of the Wodehouse hate.
posted by codacorolla at 9:27 AM on July 14, 2010 [1 favorite]


I write like Stephen King.

Actually I'm pretty happy with that.
posted by Artw at 9:28 AM on July 14, 2010


It's a pity that they don't provide a profile for each author that would allow us to make sense of the results. The more I tested it with different texts, the less consistent the result (I would be much more impressed if all my academic writing resulted in the same author). My guess is that this is heavily skewed towards vocabulary, which would make sense of the statistical approach, and has almost nothing to do with sentence structure.
posted by leibniz at 9:28 AM on July 14, 2010


This is lame. I mean, it would be cool if it told you *WHY* you write like that particular writer. Hell, even a canned paragraph (like those lame-ass Facebook quizzes) would be okay. But I mean really, is there any reason to think this isn't just picking authors at random?

Oh yeah, and it picked Stephen King for me. I am neither ashamed nor proud of that.
posted by Afroblanco at 9:28 AM on July 14, 2010


Margaret Atwood.
posted by brundlefly at 9:28 AM on July 14, 2010


The Gettysburg Address by HP Lovecraft
The Sermon on the Mount by William Shakespeare
The 'I Have a Dream' speech by Edgar Allan Poe
Nixon's resignation speech by HP Lovecraft
Opening monologue from Patton by James Joyce
Famous Bowl bit by Stephen King
Nights in White Satin by Dan Brown
Where Eagles Dare by Kurt Vonnegut
Punk Rock Girl by Mark Twain
posted by item at 9:29 AM on July 14, 2010 [4 favorites]


That actually makes sense, Item. I always suspected Mark Twain was in the Dead Milkmen.
posted by mygothlaundry at 9:31 AM on July 14, 2010 [1 favorite]


I thought this was uncalled for.
posted by mr_crash_davis mark II: Jazz Odyssey at 9:31 AM on July 14, 2010 [2 favorites]


Nixon's resignation speech by HP Lovecraft

This.
posted by Mister_A at 9:32 AM on July 14, 2010


The two blog posts I put into it gives me a different writer each (so far Nabokov and Orwell), but every single segment of my manuscript I throw into it gives me Ian Fleming. I've never read any Ian Fleming, is this a good or a bad thing?
posted by Hildegarde at 9:32 AM on July 14, 2010


I pasted a couple of paragraphs from my thesis and got H.P. Lovecraft, which is basically correct. It's really nothing more than a rehash of Lovecraft's theories of applied computational analysis of text corpora, as presented in his The Diary of Alonzo Type-Token Ratio.
posted by PontifexPrimus at 9:34 AM on July 14, 2010 [1 favorite]


Huh. I got Mel Gibson.
posted by The Bellman at 9:35 AM on July 14, 2010 [6 favorites]


Apparently I am a much poorer and significantly less well known Chuck Palahniuk.

Which is odd because if you'd have asked me, I think my style is a blatant rip off of Douglas Adams and/or Woody Allen.
posted by zuhl at 9:35 AM on July 14, 2010


I entered writing from Hunter S. Thompson and got Dan Brown.

I did the same and got Raymond Chandler.
posted by adamdschneider at 9:35 AM on July 14, 2010


WTF? It says I write like Nabokov. I am SO better than Nabokov.
posted by Lutoslawski at 9:36 AM on July 14, 2010 [1 favorite]


Wow.

Prose: George Orwell
5 poems: Chuck Palahniuk (really??)
Blog/non-fiction: Chuck Palahniuk.
posted by two lights above the sea at 9:37 AM on July 14, 2010


"I entered writing from Hunter S. Thompson and got Dan Brown."

"I did the same and got Raymond Chandler."

You guys are going to cause a short circuit.
posted by uraniumwilly at 9:37 AM on July 14, 2010


I've never read any Ian Fleming, is this a good or a bad thing?

If you want to spawn a never-ending movie franchise, that might be a good thing.
posted by marxchivist at 9:37 AM on July 14, 2010


I put in this (greeking text I use for website development):

Achtung unter ya cuckoo dorkin haben blimp buerger stoppern hinder handercloppen
frau wunderbar pretzel, buerger. Heiden keepin dummkopf hans spitzen poppin
sightseerin. Spitzen blimp buerger dorkin pretzel, haben thinken. Flippin,
haben, hans thinken kaputt dummkopf frau wunderbar an spritz, stein sie relaxern
relaxern hinder. Zur biergarten thinken, zur rubberneckin ya an oof hast an bar.


It says I write like Ian Fleming.
posted by CosmicRayCharles at 9:39 AM on July 14, 2010


Hmm...I should re-evaluate my goals in life...
posted by Hildegarde at 9:40 AM on July 14, 2010


Ugh. Instant cold sweat and trembling over the Dan Brown thing. Given, it was from a sermon manuscript that referenced freemasons and CERN... so... I put in some text from my dissertation and ended up with Poe. I call shenanigans. Everyone knows I write like Rob Bell.
posted by Baby_Balrog at 9:41 AM on July 14, 2010 [1 favorite]


uraniumwilly: “You guys are going to cause a short circuit.”

Don't think the circuit could be much shorter with this thing.
posted by koeselitz at 9:43 AM on July 14, 2010 [1 favorite]


After Dan Brown (a complete short story about vomit) and a couple of Chuck Palahniuks (a few chapters from a story about kids), I'll take Ray Bradbury and Margaret Atwood (chapters from a really long story about talking mice).
posted by Mister Moofoo at 9:43 AM on July 14, 2010


asfpjas fas asfj asfo asf ajsfposjafosajfpoajs asfjoa sjfpasjf asp jasfsfjo is like Mark Twain, apparently (though at least I get the same result every time).
posted by StephenF at 9:44 AM on July 14, 2010


I got some guy named Dan Brown. Anyone else get him?
posted by JohnnyGunn at 9:45 AM on July 14, 2010


Issac Asimov from my one of my Phd qual exam responses. I got Dan Brown from one job-related cover letter and H.P. Lovecraft from another. Luckily I quit the Dan Brown job, and now have the Lovecraft job...
posted by shrabster at 9:47 AM on July 14, 2010


Next up: Why Eliza doesn't really care how you feel about anything...
posted by Artw at 9:47 AM on July 14, 2010 [1 favorite]


I pasted in a dissertation excerpt and got Dan Brown. So I pasted in the entire dissertation and got H.P. Lovecraft... A few more research papers netted me two Asimovs, A Stephen King, and another Lovecraft.

Apparently my research is terrifying?

(This comment got me James Joyce)
posted by yeolcoatl at 9:48 AM on July 14, 2010


I put in a part of a story, and got Margaret Atwood.

I put in a part of a history paper, and got Magaret Atwood again.

I put both the story and the history paper into the text box, and I got James Joyce.

I call shenanigans.
posted by colfax at 9:49 AM on July 14, 2010


Individual papers of my research paper are Raymond Chandler, but the whole shebang is H.P. Lovecraft. How appropriate since writing the damn thing nearly drove me insane
posted by r_nebblesworthII at 9:50 AM on July 14, 2010


I pulled all the comments in this thread in collectively (including dates and post times) Metafilter collectively is Stephen King.
posted by edbles at 9:50 AM on July 14, 2010


I got a Salinger (on a short story where I was trying to be my most Hemingway-esque); Joyce when I wasn't being imitative (but it had lots of flashbacks and Spanish and Yiddish in the dialogue. Maybe changing tenses and foreign words make one Joycean?) My great noir piece is - Dan Brown. *sigh* At least I'm not consistent.
posted by Some1 at 9:51 AM on July 14, 2010


My history of the Kensington Bypass earned me a Dan Brown (either because of writing for web, or the site is trolling us); and I also learned the first three paragraphs of Call of Cthulhu were apparently written by P. G. Wodehouse ("Jeeves! What eldritch business is this?")
posted by kurumi at 9:52 AM on July 14, 2010


I have discovered that, using this fabulous tool, we can find out the authors of popular anonymous AskMes!

I've invented a complete imaginary world. Am I insane? - this was JAMES JOYCE

Is my husband trying to kill me? - this was MARGARET ATWOOD

I know this is all we get, but I can’t accept it. - this was STEPHEN KING

When your imagination doesn't exactly do the trick anymore. - this was VLADIMIR NABOKOV

You only need to stare at a piece of blank paper until your forehead bleeds. - this was KURT VONNEGUT

How to become a sex goddess? - this was DAN BROWN
posted by oulipian at 9:52 AM on July 14, 2010 [8 favorites]


I put in Marbury v. Madison and it came out like H.P. Lovecraft.

For Citizens United, the case we love to hate, we have:

Scalia: Margaret Atwood
Thomas: Isaac Asimov
Stevens: Lovecraft
Roberts: Lovecraft
Kennedy: Asimov

I'm not sure what this proves.
posted by Lemurrhea at 9:52 AM on July 14, 2010


I put in an e-mail I sent to a girl once, and it said I wrote like Charles Dickens. Not sure how I feel about that.
posted by reenum at 9:53 AM on July 14, 2010


Also, three paragraphs of "Dan Brown" + the sentence "It was very eldritch" results in "Stephen King".
posted by kurumi at 9:55 AM on July 14, 2010


The author is providing some answers at the comment thread here. Here's the most substantive info:
Currently it analyzes vocabulary (use of words), number of words, commas, and semicolons in sentences, number of sentences with quotation marks and dashes (direct speech).
For the record, I got two Stephen Kings and two Chuck Palahniak. Happy to swap one of each for a Douglas Adams or a Vonnegut.
posted by nickgb at 9:56 AM on July 14, 2010


Nabakov.

Yeah, I don't believe that.
posted by gaspode at 9:58 AM on July 14, 2010


TPS, I'll trade you my James Joyce for your Kurt Vonnegut!
posted by Unicorn on the cob at 10:01 AM on July 14, 2010


From analyzing my latest, pretty long essay: Dan Brown (fuck you, site - unless I get super rich one day)
From analyzing an old essay from high school: H. P. Lovecraft (hooray!)
posted by pyrex at 10:03 AM on July 14, 2010


I am pleased to announce that Hardcore Taters Anonymous has been determined to be Vladimir Nabokov.
posted by Comrade_robot at 10:04 AM on July 14, 2010 [2 favorites]


I got JK Rowling, which while not what I aspire to is probably better than I hoped for
posted by supermedusa at 10:04 AM on July 14, 2010


William S. Burroughs writes like Douglas Adams.
posted by naju at 10:09 AM on July 14, 2010


I saw in her twitter feed yesterday that Margaret Atwood herself had tried this and got Stephen King and James Joyce, but not Margaret Atwood.
posted by Emperor SnooKloze at 10:10 AM on July 14, 2010


Hmm. Apparently all of the different pieces of the grant I am submitting were written by Margaret Atwood. Hopefully she has a good funding rate!
posted by girl scientist at 10:11 AM on July 14, 2010


Houyhnhnm, Short Attention Sp, grabbingsand, cgomez, Slap*Happy, lore, luvcraft, philip-random, opsin, bondcliff, dnash, nanojath, Bookhouse, saulgoodman and even IGrandpa Simpson write like Chuck Palahniuk. We are all part of the same compost heap.

"Fight ClubMetafilter wasn't about winning or losing. It wasn't about words. The hysterical shouting was in tongues, like at a Pentecostal Church."
posted by Hardcore Poser at 10:11 AM on July 14, 2010 [1 favorite]


Sarah Palin's acceptance speech for the vice presidential nomination nets Dan Brown. Her resignation speech as governor of Alaska gets her one Vladimir Nabokov.
posted by arelsea at 10:12 AM on July 14, 2010 [1 favorite]


This site seems worthless.
posted by cjorgensen at 10:13 AM on July 14, 2010 [1 favorite]


H. G. Wells. (I was hoping for Orson.)
posted by Crabby Appleton at 10:15 AM on July 14, 2010


Apparently I write like Edgar Allan Poe and Margaret Atwood. I am going to assume this means that both of those writers also had horrible punctuation and copy-paste problems. This site bites.
posted by Pastabagel at 10:17 AM on July 14, 2010


Anyone trying to reverse-engineer the results? These are my impressions so far:

Margaret Atwood - feminine lexicon? ("husband", etc)
Vonnegut - short sentences, short paragraphs
Douglas Adams - space / sci-fi lexicon
Steven King - horror lexicon
Dan Brown - factual, clear, concise
H.P. Lovecract - ornate prose
posted by naju at 10:19 AM on July 14, 2010


Renowned Metafilter commenter Rusty pasted some English text from his last long comment, which came from a thread about soup, into the "I Write Like" text analyzer and clicked submit. Breathlessly, he whispered "Oh please, please..." while he waited for his results. Suddenly, the answer slowly emerged on the screen: "You write like... Stephen King!" His relief was so palpable he could almost see it.
posted by rusty at 10:23 AM on July 14, 2010 [1 favorite]


(The comment above reads like Harry Harrison, apparently. Heh.)
posted by rusty at 10:25 AM on July 14, 2010


"Koalas aren't hard they some little bitches" is apparently like James Joyce.

My god.
posted by four panels at 10:28 AM on July 14, 2010 [1 favorite]


I got Chuck Palahniuk, Dan Brown and James Joyce.

Wha?
posted by Relay at 10:32 AM on July 14, 2010


James Joyce. LOOOOOL!

Hey, get me - I'm a high-falutin' writer-type!
posted by KevinSkomsvold at 10:33 AM on July 14, 2010


Kilgore Trout???
posted by haveanicesummer at 10:37 AM on July 14, 2010


Many tests above (and mine one) show that this is nonsense if you really want to use it as a tool to tell you who you write like. But it's fascinating to play with and to try to figure out it's rules.

I tried a long post from my blog and which it compared to Dan Brown. However, if I cut the post in half and tried again, I got Ian Flemming. Eventually, I discovered that If I tried from a certain specific paragraph to the end, I got Dan Brown. If I eliminated that paragraph (and started from the next one), I got Ian Flemming.

Here's the paragraph that got the Dan Brown result:

Theatre is, of course, very different from the real world. In play rooms, there is always a wall missing; there are strange lights hanging everywhere; time moves much swifter than it does in reality; people speak more clearly... These conventions don't have to be set up. We just expect them. We do so, because we've been brought up with a theatre that has these specific conventions.

(If you want to try the following out for yourself, the (self-link, sorry) text is from here: link. Just paste in all the text from the paragraph I posted, above, to the end. You'll get Dan Brown. Eliminate that paragraph and you'll get Ian Flemming.

After testing this, I tried "normalizing" all the punctuation in the Dan-Brown paragraph. I changed all punctuation marks to periods. (I changed the ellipsis to a single period.) I still got Dan Brown.

I started whittling away at the paragraph. I found I could cut most of it (leaving in all the following paragraphs) and still get Dan Brown. Eventually, I found out that if I just kept THREE words, I got Dan Brown...

missing lights specific

[Rest of paragraphs...]

.. but if I cut any one of those three words, I got Ian Flemming. I also got Ian Flemming if I changed, say, "missing" to "kissing." Keeping those words there -- in any order -- got me Dan Brown.
posted by grumblebee at 10:41 AM on July 14, 2010 [1 favorite]


I put the entire text of a recent technical article I authored, and it told me I owed it $65.02.

How did it know I was into the Apple II? Fucking astounding.
posted by dbiedny at 10:42 AM on July 14, 2010


Wait a minute...I write like Dan Brown?

Harumpf.
posted by Pecinpah at 10:47 AM on July 14, 2010


Who you write like if you enter the following words forty times and nothing else:

Fuck: Chuck Palahniuk

Shit: Stephen King

Magic: J.K. Rowling

Cock: James Joyce

Murder: Edgar Allan Poe

Lesbians: J.D. Salinger

Sex: Margaret Atwood

Tacos: Daniel DeFoe

Yeah that last one made me have to stop and sit down.
posted by XQUZYPHYR at 10:47 AM on July 14, 2010 [4 favorites]


Following a similar methodology as XQUZYPHYR above:

Wizard: J.K. Rowling

Cock: James Joyce (I actually didn't see this on XQUZYPHYR's list before I tried it)

Wizard Cock: L. Frank Baum.


Actually, seems about right
posted by MCMikeNamara at 10:54 AM on July 14, 2010


Wait, what does JD Salinger have to do with lesbians? There is Franny and Zoe, but they aren't, no?

Put in a technical document I wrote, full of unix path names and commands, and got Shakespeare. WTF?
posted by QIbHom at 10:59 AM on July 14, 2010


If you write vampires 40 times you get Bram Stoker, odd considering he only wrote about the one. Werewolves gets you Lovecraft.
posted by edbles at 10:59 AM on July 14, 2010


Clearly they are confusing JD with KD and scrambling the letters around in salinger to get Lang. (sometimes when you scramble letters they go away).
posted by edbles at 11:00 AM on July 14, 2010


Britney Spears writes like Kurt Vonnegut.

*closes window*
posted by DZack at 11:03 AM on July 14, 2010


"abcdefghijklmnopqrstuvwxyz" repeated until my ctrl-v hand got tired gave me Mario Puzo.

syrupy waffle orgy = Margaret Atwood

omg ponies = JRR Tolkein

udders! udders! = James Joyce, and not Jin Kwon as I was expecting.
posted by elizardbits at 11:04 AM on July 14, 2010 [1 favorite]


sparkly vampire = Margaret Atwood. How embarrassing for her.
posted by elizardbits at 11:05 AM on July 14, 2010


2 Dan Browns, 1 Stephen King and 1 James Joyce. The Browns were on product reviews and King, then Joyce, on a language blog. What??
posted by etaoin at 11:05 AM on July 14, 2010


This is terrible! I love it. I write like everywriter!

I wrote dog rape about twelve times and got Nabokov!
posted by I Foody at 11:06 AM on July 14, 2010 [1 favorite]


My text:

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

My result:

Ernest Hemingway.
posted by KevinSkomsvold at 11:07 AM on July 14, 2010 [1 favorite]


I got Agatha Christie for one of my articles; I did not test but suspect the word "festooned" might have something to do with it.
posted by mikepop at 11:11 AM on July 14, 2010


QIbHom: Wait, what does JD Salinger have to do with lesbians? There is Franny and Zoe, but they aren't, no?

Nope. Siblings. And if they did go for the kinky stuff, one's a dude.
posted by nickgb at 11:13 AM on July 14, 2010


I wish there were a more accurate version of this that could identify bad writing.

Congratulations! You write like:

...a non-fluent English speaker!
...an eighth grader texting from the back of the school bus!
...what a marketing executive thinks an eighth grader texting from the back of the school bus writes like!
...your keyboard is broken!
...Aunt Trudy in her annual Christmas letter!
...a crappy PowerPoint deck!
...you believe you are the most interesting person in the world, but you're wrong!
...you sleep with a thesaurus under your pillow!
...the old man from Legend of Zelda!
...tl;dr
posted by Metroid Baby at 11:13 AM on July 14, 2010 [4 favorites]


All commas gets you Harry Harrison, (soylent green I had to look it up).
posted by edbles at 11:14 AM on July 14, 2010


Congratulations! You write like:

..a failing poet.
posted by edbles at 11:16 AM on July 14, 2010


Stephen King!?!

Dang, maybe I should take up this writing thing.
posted by IndigoJones at 11:16 AM on July 14, 2010


Two snippets from a trashy pornographic novel. One Joyce, one Nabokov.

I get a Brown and a King. Where's the justice?
posted by Trochanter at 11:20 AM on July 14, 2010


Based on my last story, I got Mark Twain.

You'll have to wait a hundred years to hear my opinion about that.
posted by ChurchHatesTucker at 11:23 AM on July 14, 2010 [1 favorite]


I'm going for a Thomas Friedman. Wish me luck!
posted by Trochanter at 11:23 AM on July 14, 2010


All my short stories from college read like Hemingway or Stephen King. I didn't realize they had similar writing styles.
posted by giraffe at 11:23 AM on July 14, 2010


I get lots of Joyce, including for blog posts about my mischievous shower-taking furball. A few results for Palahniuk too, and one for Tolstoy.

I'll take that.
posted by fraula at 11:25 AM on July 14, 2010


The funny thing about so many people being told they write like HP Lovecraft is that for much of his career he was doing a half assed imitation of Poe.
posted by Artw at 11:27 AM on July 14, 2010 [1 favorite]


Wait, am I the only one getting Robert Louis Stevenson? Did I unlock something?
posted by felix grundy at 11:34 AM on July 14, 2010


The funny thing about so many people being told they write like HP Lovecraft is that for much of his career he was doing a half assed imitation of Poe.

So a Poe-man's Lovecraft?
posted by KevinSkomsvold at 11:35 AM on July 14, 2010 [4 favorites]


And Dan Brown comes out as -- James Joyce!
posted by bwonder2 at 11:37 AM on July 14, 2010


Sigh...

Sadly I could not come up with any Lord Dunsany based puns.
posted by Artw at 11:37 AM on July 14, 2010


A piece of non-fiction from my blog.... Vladimir Nabokov. A second piece of non-fiction from my blog.... H.P. Lovecraft

The first page of my nove.... Dan Brown.
The second page of my novel.... Stephen King
The third page of my novel..... Robert Louise Stevenson
The fourth page of my novel..... Stephen King.

I don't know whether to keep writing or throw myself off the nearest bridge.
posted by orange swan at 11:38 AM on July 14, 2010


I put in a paragraph from a motion to dismiss that I drafted and I got Stephen King.
So there you have it: incontrovertible evidence that legal writing is frightening.
posted by Dr. Zira at 11:44 AM on July 14, 2010


Oh, and the text of one of my craft posts..... Margaret Atwood.
posted by orange swan at 11:49 AM on July 14, 2010


First attempt: Dan Brown. Result: Pissed off.

Second attempt: H.P. Lovecraft. Result: Humbled, but frightened. Very frightened.
posted by fijiwriter at 11:54 AM on July 14, 2010


I put in a paragraph from DFW's cruise ship piece in Harper's and it yielded Margaret Atwood.
posted by Dr. Zira at 11:56 AM on July 14, 2010


Decadence is a difficult word to use since it has become little more than a term of abuse applied by critics to anything they do not yet understand or which seems to differ from their moral concepts yields Edgar Allen Poe (it's actually Hemingway).

Symbology is a difficult word to use since it has become little more than a term of abuse applied by critics to anything they do not yet understand or which seems to differ from their moral concepts yields, of course, Dan Brown.
posted by infinitewindow at 11:57 AM on July 14, 2010


orange swan, stephen king was good when he was doing all them drugs. not sure what the takeaway from that is.
posted by angrycat at 12:03 PM on July 14, 2010


MetaFilter's HTML header writes like Dan Brown.

I apparently write C++ code like Kurt Vonnegut.
posted by lekvar at 12:08 PM on July 14, 2010


Vonnegut. Awesome.
posted by TrialByMedia at 12:12 PM on July 14, 2010


Okay, I'm stoked.

My House as Wooster fan fic yielded: P.G. Wodehouse

My try at writing like Jane Austen yielded: James Joyce

My novel got Stephen King

So...I guess I'm hitting what I'm aiming at.
posted by Ruthless Bunny at 12:20 PM on July 14, 2010


The funny thing about so many people being told they write like HP Lovecraft is that for much of his career he was doing a half assed imitation of Poe.

So a Poe-man's Lovecraft?
posted by KevinSkomsvold at 11:35 AM on July 14 [2 favorites -] Favorite added! [!]


Seriously underrated post
posted by r_nebblesworthII at 12:24 PM on July 14, 2010


This is fun. I got Chuck Palahniuk and Edgar Allan Poe, then came here to see what everybody else got. I don't agree with either result, but think I'll stop here, lest I get the dreaded Dan Brown badge.
posted by LiliaNic at 12:24 PM on July 14, 2010


Bits from one of my novels-in-progress got: (a) Raymond Chandler, (b) H.P. Lovecraft, and (c) Kurt Vonnegut.

Every chapter I paste in gets a different result, but -- thank Jehoshaphat -- no Dan Brown or Stephen King yet.

I think I'll stop while I'm ahead.
posted by brina at 12:27 PM on July 14, 2010


I must say I am very impressed at the accuracy of this thing. For instance, the well-known passage:

"Christian Bale Christian Bale Christian Bale Christian Bale Fozzy Bear Fozzy Bear Fozzy Bear Fozzy Bear Fozzy Bear Fozzy Bear Fozzy Bear Fozzy Bear Fozzy Bear"

gets William Shakespeare.

But adding just one more Christian Bale gets James Joyce. I'm hooked and will use this tool to both improve my authorship, and to evaluate the writings of others.
posted by Sutekh at 12:38 PM on July 14, 2010 [3 favorites]


I'm hooked and will use this tool to both improve my authorship, and to evaluate the writings of others.

Which comes back as Mario Puzo.
posted by quin at 12:48 PM on July 14, 2010 [1 favorite]


A rose is a rose is a rose is a rose

Gets Isaac Asimov.
posted by edbles at 12:50 PM on July 14, 2010


I write like Margaret Atwood, according to this site. Not bad.
posted by oozy rat in a sanitary zoo at 12:52 PM on July 14, 2010


Kurt Vonnegut
Stephen King
HP Lovecraft

Which is silly because I write like a precocious fifth-grader.
posted by vapidave at 1:20 PM on July 14, 2010


Mel Gibson rant? Stephen King.
posted by Dr. Zira at 1:24 PM on July 14, 2010 [1 favorite]


My old Livejournal entries- Margaret Atwood.
Letters to the editor of local newspapers- James Joyce.
Artist's statements (which I hate to write, btw)- H.P. Lovecraft.
posted by pernoctalian at 1:37 PM on July 14, 2010


Yee-hah! I got Raymond Chandler. Then I typed in a paragraph deliberated designed to invoke Hemingway, but got Ian Fleming.

Ian Fleming? Who the hell writes like Ian Fleming?
posted by steambadger at 1:38 PM on July 14, 2010


I copied in a length old MeFi comment about history and fried chicken. I got Mark Twain.
posted by Miko at 1:38 PM on July 14, 2010


orange swan, stephen king was good when he was doing all them drugs. not sure what the takeaway from that is.

angrycat has clearly not read The Tommyknockers.
posted by rusty at 1:51 PM on July 14, 2010


My, my...Nabokov, Austen, and Joyce...the first one makes me very happy.
posted by Jimmy Havok at 1:56 PM on July 14, 2010


Atwood, Palahnuik, then Joyce. After I started reading the comments, I was relieved to escape the Dan Brown badge.
posted by thankyouforyourconsideration at 1:57 PM on July 14, 2010


Okay, this thing has to be crackers.
I put in two paragraphs from one film review and it said Dan Brown.
I put in another two paragraphs from another film review and I got William Shakespeare.
Is my range that wide?
posted by Rashomon at 2:00 PM on July 14, 2010


Holy shit.

The entire available text of The Eye of Argon returns: William Shakespeare.

I... I'm done here. There is nothing left I can do with this.
posted by XQUZYPHYR at 2:01 PM on July 14, 2010 [3 favorites]


Well, according to it James Joyce was the REAL writer of Hamlet.
posted by Artw at 2:07 PM on July 14, 2010


I entered the texts of two recent papers I wrote for my American Government class. The first got Dan Brown. The second (written two weeks later) got James Joyce. I'm thinking I should keep this up...
posted by Vic Morrow's Personal Vietnam at 2:34 PM on July 14, 2010


Ian Fleming? Who the hell writes like Ian Fleming?

Bret Eston Ellis.

Speaking of whom, I threw this random fragment (NSFW) from American Psycho into the analyzer and got ...

James Joyce.
posted by philip-random at 2:44 PM on July 14, 2010


Vonnegut!!! I couldn't be more happier even if the results are unreliable.
posted by GavinR at 2:46 PM on July 14, 2010


Entering names of famous female writers into this meme generator (scroll down).
posted by Joey Michaels at 3:11 PM on July 14, 2010


(Or rather offering snippets of famous female writers' writing)
posted by Joey Michaels at 3:12 PM on July 14, 2010


I tried multiple entries from my mailing list and got James Joyce (x 7), Stephen King, Ian Fleming, Bram Stoker, Margaret Atwood, Chuck P., Nabokov, and Dickens, Tolstoy, Oscar Wilde, and Jack London. This makes no sense to me whatsoever.
posted by dobbs at 3:14 PM on July 14, 2010


Okay, my blog was judged Lovecraftian and my last 4 articles are James Joyce (writing about "Lost"), Chuck Palahniuk (about "Undercover Boss") and Stephen King twice ("Despicable Me" and Betty White). My editors will be delighted.
posted by oneswellfoop at 3:23 PM on July 14, 2010


I put in the text of The Last Wolverine by James Dickey and got James Fenimore Cooper. I have obviously deeply misunderstood one of these writers at least.
posted by frobozz at 3:28 PM on July 14, 2010


Also, did anyone else think the pic of the quill in the badge was a fish at first?
posted by frobozz at 3:29 PM on July 14, 2010


Apparently I write my web literature series like Margaret Atwood.

Huh.
posted by gc at 3:33 PM on July 14, 2010


Hitler :-/
posted by turgid dahlia at 3:39 PM on July 14, 2010


So what do you think this guy is doing with all the snippets of text he's collecting?

The Internet-powered Monkey-Typewriter Project.
posted by gc at 3:40 PM on July 14, 2010


Somebody got J.K. Rowling? How surprising. Yesterday the friend who passed this along to me and I were discussing how, based on our tests, apparently Margaret Atwood was the only lady writer in the history of English literature.
posted by mostlymartha at 3:40 PM on July 14, 2010


Yeah, it's Atwood, then Rowling, and then that's it.
posted by turgid dahlia at 3:44 PM on July 14, 2010


Entering 同舟共济 eight times got me Neil Gaiman. I'm starting to doubt the science here.
posted by klue at 3:45 PM on July 14, 2010


Frustrated unpublished novelist that I am. I put each one of my works in there from its dusty place in my projects files.

I got: Daniel DeFoe, Jack London, Robert Louis Stevenson, Ursula K. LeGuin and on my favorite one... my absolutely favorite one: Harry Harrison?
posted by ExitPursuedByBear at 3:49 PM on July 14, 2010


DAVID FOSTER WALLACE.

Take that, pile of rejection slips :(
posted by Kloryne at 3:57 PM on July 14, 2010 [1 favorite]


The following writers are using my metafilter account. Margaret Attwood, David Foster Wallace, James Joyce and H.P. Lovecraft.
posted by Kerasia at 4:02 PM on July 14, 2010


I picked a few singers and a representative song and can definitively states that Prince writes like Margaret Atwood, Van Morrison like Bram Stoker, and Britney Spears' lyricist writes like Stephanie Meyer.

There is no part of that that I don't find wonderful.
posted by It's Never Lurgi at 4:02 PM on July 14, 2010


I got David Foster Wallace too! This thing is obviously working just fine.
posted by naju at 4:04 PM on July 14, 2010 [1 favorite]


I got Stephen King, which was kind of a bummer, so I consulted my Magic 8 Ball and asked if I was a good writer and it said ALL SIGNS POINT TO YES, so now I feel better.
posted by The Card Cheat at 4:05 PM on July 14, 2010


Entering "penis penis penis" over and over again got me Anne Rice. Personally I think it's way better than her stuff, but I'll defer to the experts.
posted by It's Never Lurgi at 4:08 PM on July 14, 2010 [2 favorites]


First few pages of my novel: James Joyce. Several pages near the end: Raymond Chandler.
posted by Obscure Reference at 4:23 PM on July 14, 2010


This Warning: Kind of a Self-Link got me David Foster Wallace. Who I have never read at length.

Okay...
posted by Minus215Cee at 4:24 PM on July 14, 2010


Project: keep adding more and more of my comments to the box. Theoretically, that should end up with an average writer for me.

First pass, Nabokov + Bradbury = Bradbury. The Bradbury was much longer than the Nabokov, so it makes sense that it would dominate.

A few more increments later....it has rather quickly settled down to David Foster Wallace.
posted by Jimmy Havok at 4:38 PM on July 14, 2010


Is anyone taking this seriously? It's obviously doing absolutely nothing. You can cut and paste 4 very similar things which you wrote in a short timespan, of approximately the same length, of exactly the same style and so forth, and end up with 4 radically different authors.

I, for example, got James Joyce, H.P. Lovecraft, and Dan Brown.

For something like this to be even mildly interesting it has to have some minimal connection, however tenuous, to reality. This might as well return a random name. You can't do even trivial textual analysis without a large sample size.

This is a blatant attempt to drive traffic; the facebook etc stuff under the results are the whole point of the site. And, sadly, it worked.
posted by Justinian at 4:40 PM on July 14, 2010


Nirvana's Smells Like Teen Spirit = J. D. Salinger
Barenaked Ladies' One Week = William Gibson
Daft Punk's Harder, Better, Faster, Stronger = Stephen King
Elvis' Viva Las Vegas = Bram Stoker
posted by Paragon at 4:41 PM on July 14, 2010 [1 favorite]


Holy... I got David Foster Wallace.

I am going to go treat myself to a few beers.
posted by six-or-six-thirty at 4:44 PM on July 14, 2010


I doubt my guide to writing and implementing templates for collection letters most resembles Atwood, but there it is. (5000 words. Best size writing sample I had on hand.)
posted by [expletive deleted] at 4:44 PM on July 14, 2010


I need to dig up my letter to Penthouse Forum.
posted by machaus at 4:47 PM on July 14, 2010


It's obviously doing absolutely nothing.

Well, and in a sense I personally think this is kind of worse, but it's not doing absolutely nothing. It's just not doing anything useful, or coming anywhere close to making any interesting disclosures about what it is doing.

As you say, trying to accomplish a meaningful analysis based on tiny samples of input text (and even the several paragraphs of text that the site seems to want to encourage is a tiny, tiny corpus with which to work) is silly; trying to correlate that analysis to a tiny collection of authors is sillier still.

What I'd like to see, and it sounds like this may be forthcoming somewhat but got skipped in the rush to make the app public, is actual documentation of the comparison heuristic and of the source material used for the various authors.

Even at that it won't make the thing itself interesting as an actual tool—it's blatant linkbait fodder and a joke as an actual language processing project—but it'd be nice to see this sort of thing paired with a straightforward and honest discussion by the author of what they're doing and why exactly it's doomed to produce anything like what it claims to do on the tin.
posted by cortex at 4:52 PM on July 14, 2010


I used various MeFi & Mecha comments.

First result: Margaret Atwood
Second: David Foster Wallace
Third: Dan Brown
Fourth: William Gibson
Fifth: Stephen King

Of those five, I've read only Wallace, Gibson & King, so I can't really say.
posted by jonmc at 5:06 PM on July 14, 2010


Lots of people are happy that a website told them something flattering.
posted by Wayman Tisdale at 5:13 PM on July 14, 2010 [3 favorites]


I tried three blog posts of mine.

Results: David Foster Wallace, Kurt Vonnegut, & Dan Brown.

I should have stopped after the first one.
posted by vidur at 5:38 PM on July 14, 2010


Sweet. Posted one of my longer essays and it said David Foster Wallace, too. I know it doesn't mean anything, but I'll just hold onto this for a while when I need cheering up.
posted by verb at 5:47 PM on July 14, 2010


'Green Eggs and Ham' gets Raymond Chandler.
I hoped 'I Feel Good' by James Brown would get Dan Brown but no.
posted by Trochanter at 5:49 PM on July 14, 2010


I copied the HTML text of the site's own 'Badge' widget into the field to be analyzed.

"James Joyce."

So, I think it's actually doing a pretty good job.
posted by verb at 5:50 PM on July 14, 2010 [1 favorite]


I put in the entire text of the US Constitution and got H.P. Lovecraft.
posted by (The Rt Hon.) MP at 5:59 PM on July 14, 2010 [3 favorites]


I put in Chapter one of the Book Of Genesis and got Kurt Vonnegut.
posted by jonmc at 6:04 PM on July 14, 2010 [1 favorite]


Fuck that, I write like ME.
posted by bwg at 6:14 PM on July 14, 2010


Plugged in several of my more recent songs and mostly got David Foster Wallace.
posted by ZenMasterThis at 6:27 PM on July 14, 2010


Prose: George Orwell
Poetry: H. P. Lovecraft
Fiction: Vladimir Nabokov

LIES

Also I feel like I just masturbated my brain in front of the whole world by writing this comment.
posted by Ouisch at 6:35 PM on July 14, 2010 [1 favorite]


My sf writing it says is like Arthur C Clarke, but my RPG writeups it says are like Dan Brown. Who the heck is Dan Brown, and why do so many people here write like him?
posted by Blackanvil at 6:36 PM on July 14, 2010


There's a spot somewhere in my brain that is really sad I didn't get the DFW.
Stupid gratification, let me show you them.
posted by angrycat at 6:36 PM on July 14, 2010


Just keep trying, angrycat, and you're bound to pull a DFW eventually.
posted by Ouisch at 6:38 PM on July 14, 2010


Also I feel like I just masturbated my brain in front of the whole world by writing this comment.

You masturbate like...

Ron Jeremy!

[Click Here for a Badge!]
posted by ChurchHatesTucker at 6:47 PM on July 14, 2010


My profane, enthusiastic, profoundly goofy blog is supposedly written like Arthur C. Clarke. Honestly, this kind of makes me want to read some Arthur C. Clarke, because I personally think my blog is dope as hell. And my poetry came back David Foster Wallace, which is pretty much the highest praise I can think of.

I think I like this little tool! It tells me things I want to hear!
posted by little light-giver at 7:03 PM on July 14, 2010


You masturbate like...

This totally needs to be an online quiz. Maybe for Facebook. Requiring video.
posted by Ouisch at 7:11 PM on July 14, 2010


I got Shakespeare from my latest blog post.
posted by sciurus at 7:25 PM on July 14, 2010


Maybe for Facebook. Requiring video.

Well, rest assured, there's no shortage of footage.

Inb4 shortage joke
Inb4 footage joke

posted by Trochanter at 7:27 PM on July 14, 2010


Huh. Margaret Atwood. Guess I've got some reading to do.
posted by LionIndex at 7:27 PM on July 14, 2010


Huh. I've actually never read an Arthur C. Clarke novel. Now I guess I have to.
posted by Football Bat at 7:37 PM on July 14, 2010


What I'd like to see, and it sounds like this may be forthcoming somewhat but got skipped in the rush to make the app public, is actual documentation of the comparison heuristic and of the source material used for the various authors.

Dmitry says:
"Currently it analyzes vocabulary (use of words), number of words, commas, and semicolons in sentences, number of sentences with quotation marks and dashes (direct speech)."

"I decided to keep it secret [list of the possible authors] for now — I think it’s more fun this way. Currently it has 40 authors."
posted by unliteral at 7:50 PM on July 14, 2010


I posted S&M pornography and got David Foster Wallace.
posted by Phalene at 7:50 PM on July 14, 2010


Note that since this thread started, the thing has been redesigned and new authors added, and the little ad at the bottom is now gone.
posted by swift at 7:51 PM on July 14, 2010


2nd try: Arthur C. Clarke
3rd: DFW
posted by LionIndex at 7:54 PM on July 14, 2010


I write like Raymond Chandler?!!?!?!? I LOVE that website (which is totally legitimate), and I love you, swift, for linking to it! I'm going to go skip around my house now. I mean, in a Philip Marlowe sort of way.
posted by Mael Oui at 8:06 PM on July 14, 2010


David Foster Wallace....like, five times David Foster Wallace. I guess that's that, then.
posted by quakerjono at 8:23 PM on July 14, 2010


the piece of my fiction gave me David Foster Wallace. Having never read him I assume he uses lots of run-on sentences.
posted by ryaninoakland at 8:45 PM on July 14, 2010


Herman Melville writes like Dan Brown, apparently. Actually, I guess that's the other way around.
posted by speedo at 9:04 PM on July 14, 2010


Playing around more with this site, my AskMe answers are David Foster Wallace across the board (probably the run-on sentences). My comments in the blue are a mashup of everything from Tolkien to Wodehouse to Dan Brown to Douglas Adams. Too much fun.
posted by oozy rat in a sanitary zoo at 9:16 PM on July 14, 2010


David Foster Wallace, who I've never read. Tried two different pieces of short fiction, same both times.
posted by IvoShandor at 9:25 PM on July 14, 2010


Haruki Murakami, in one of his non sci-fi/fantasy grafs, writes like H.G. Wells.

David Sedaris writes like DFW. OK.

Bruno Schulz (read him!!!) writes like Margaret Mitchell. So NOT!
posted by kozad at 9:31 PM on July 14, 2010


And Kafka writes like James Joyce, apparently the default "literary" author of choice.
posted by kozad at 9:34 PM on July 14, 2010


I put several pieces of writing into it and every one came back with Stephen King. So yeah, I'll go with that gladly.
posted by aclevername at 9:59 PM on July 14, 2010


Dmitry says:

Yep, and I don't mean to give him shit particularly, I'm just more interested in hearing the details than I am in hearing about how the details aren't available yet. I am an impatient nerd, more interested in the guts than in the silly ready-made link-to-this badges.
posted by cortex at 9:59 PM on July 14, 2010


I'm not a writer, but I strung a few forum posts together and got David Foster Wallace. So maybe I should start?
posted by inpHilltr8r at 10:02 PM on July 14, 2010


Although given the last few comments, maybe not.
posted by inpHilltr8r at 10:04 PM on July 14, 2010


Yep, I'm now getting DFW with the same exact passage that handed me the ol' Dan Brown this morning. I think this site wised up to its base.

For all of you "I've never read David Foster Wallace" people--at the very least, give A Supposedly Fun Thing I'll Never Do Again a try. (People call Infinite Jest his masterpiece but I think the title essay in that jewel of a book is even better. And so is the one about the IL state fair.)
posted by sallybrown at 10:27 PM on July 14, 2010


Yeah, I posted seven random pieces of writing spanning back to 2003 and got:

Dan Brown
David Foster Wallace
David Foster Wallace
Margaret Atwood
James Joyce
David Foster Wallace
James Joyce

No idea what that means. If anything. Maybe I'll start writing again, just for the sake of continuing to feed this thing samples ("C'moooooon, HEILEIN!")
posted by sharpener at 10:39 PM on July 14, 2010


*sigh* Heinlein. So much for THAT joke.
posted by sharpener at 10:40 PM on July 14, 2010


I put in 20 or so essays and stories from my high school years, and got David Foster Wallace about 60% of the time. Which sounds about right for a kid writing in that stereotypical pretentious style where you think you're smarter than all the teachers.
posted by Sxyzzx at 12:12 AM on July 15, 2010


From the comments here I have identified the 40 (41) authors:

Alfredo McGillicuddity*
Arthur Conan Doyle
Barbara Cartland
Bram Stoker
Charles Dickens
Chuck Palahniuk
Dan Brown
David Foster Wallace
Douglas Adams
Edgar Allen Poe
Ernest Hemingway
George Orwell
H. G. Wells
H. P. Lovecraft
Harry Harrison
Homer
Ian Fleming
Isaac Asimov
J. K. Rowling
J. R. R. Tolkien
J. D. Salinger
James Fenimore Cooper
James Joyce
Jane Austen
John Milton
Jonathan Swift
Kurt Vonnegut
L. Frank Baum
Leo Tolstoy
Lewis Carroll
Margaret Atwood
Mario Puzo
Mark Twain
Max Sparber
Oscar Wilde
P. G. Wodehouse
Raymond Chandler
Rudyard Kipling
Stephen King
Vladmir Nabakov
William Gibson

*Not sure about this one.
posted by unliteral at 12:25 AM on July 15, 2010 [4 favorites]


Add to that list Stephenie Meyer. Ugh. Must try a different sample!
posted by wallaby at 4:05 AM on July 15, 2010


I got David Foster Wallace. I will have to read him now.
posted by Wantok at 4:10 AM on July 15, 2010


My BF got Gertrude Stein once, and Ursula K LeGuin another time, and something my mom wrote got Ian Fleming, so there are other writers in there...

DFW definitely comes up a lot - I think it's if you use biggish words and write long sentences, and that's about it. My academic work got a lot of Lovecraft, Poe & Orwell, so apparently it's some kind of sci-fi / horror, but my fiction was heavy on the DFW and Joyce, so that's okay with me.
posted by mdn at 4:56 AM on July 15, 2010


Tried five different things from my short stories. I got Stephen King twice. One each of Raymond Chandler, David Foster Wallace, and James Joyce
posted by tylerfulltilt at 8:54 AM on July 15, 2010


Add Arthur C. Clarke to the list Unilateral
posted by tylerfulltilt at 8:57 AM on July 15, 2010


William Shakespeare was apparently the original author of the Treaty of Westphalia.
posted by elizardbits at 9:29 AM on July 15, 2010


I wonder who wrote the Magna Carta? ;p
posted by infini at 10:06 AM on July 15, 2010


unliteral, the Max Sparber was a joke. Check out Astro Zombie's profile to see why.
posted by cjorgensen at 10:43 AM on July 15, 2010


Max Sparber is a joke in your town!

Twenty bucks.
posted by cortex at 10:56 AM on July 15, 2010


Max Sparber
What the hell!
posted by unliteral at 1:47 PM on July 15, 2010


Well, I got David Foster Wallace too so why don't I have more favourites? I guess I just need to write more often!
posted by h00py at 7:06 PM on July 15, 2010


Huh. Seems it's really SEO googlejuice for a vanity press.
posted by kipmanley at 10:07 PM on July 16, 2010 [1 favorite]


Yep, this site isn't just useless and annoying as I previous thought. It is actively bad.

Terrible post for Metafilter.
posted by Justinian at 11:33 PM on July 16, 2010


I went to Microsoft's site and grabbed a random block of text (including bullet points) from the "How to obtain the latest Windows Vista service pack" page.

Microsoft writes like Cory Doctorow.
posted by Krapulous at 11:21 PM on July 21, 2010 [2 favorites]


No, I write like David Foster Wallace I tell you!
posted by h00py at 6:11 AM on July 22, 2010


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