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Old 07-21-2010, 02:57 PM   #1
Moejoe
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I Write Like

There's an interesting little site that takes your pasted text and compares it to the works of famous writers. I Write Like can be found at: http://iwl.me/

So far I've had James Joyce, Cory Doctorow and most confusing of all (after pasting in the whole text of my story Liseuse) Chuck Palahniuk.

http://iwl.me/s/2b568272
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Old 07-21-2010, 03:08 PM   #2
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Chuck Palahniuk? Liseuse?

I pasted one of my longish posts here on MR, and it seems I write like...
H.P.Lovecraft!!!!

I'd love to know how they arrive at these results. It's not random, I pasted it again, and I persist in being lovecraftish.
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Old 07-21-2010, 03:10 PM   #3
Moejoe
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Quote:
Originally Posted by omk3 View Post
Chuck Palahniuk? Liseuse?

I pasted one of my longish posts here on MR, and it seems I write like...
H.P.Lovecraft!!!!

I'd love to know how they arrive at these results. It's not random, I pasted it again, and I persist in being lovecraftish.
Obviously some kind of ghosts, or zombies....or *shudder* ghost zombies!!!
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Old 07-21-2010, 03:20 PM   #4
omk3
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Okay, found it. It's actually a ...spam filter! (or just works like one)

Quote:
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.
Full Q&A with creator of "I write like" here: http://www.theawl.com/2010/07/a-qa-w...rocket-science

Only 50 authors are included in the database so far, which might explain the rather odd results. Not that I'm sure it would work perfectly otherwise. But it's still fun. I tested some Orwell, and he writes like Orwell
Next fun project: find a famous writer not included in the database, and see who he writes like (except for PJ Lyon, we already tested him)
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Old 07-21-2010, 03:46 PM   #5
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I ran a couple of chapters of my Elizabethan alt history fantasy through this site, and it says I write like Ursula K Le Guin & Daniel Defoe - that is sooo cool
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Old 07-21-2010, 03:48 PM   #6
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Just tried 300 words of an academic paper and it's apparently written like Edgar Allan Poe - which is worrying!
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Old 07-21-2010, 07:19 PM   #7
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New Musicians of Bremen
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The site is worthless garbage. More than that, it is a scam.

http://scienceblogs.com/pharyngula/2...ipe_for_pl.php

I used a random text generator to make samples for the site. Text generated from Finnegan's Wake told me I wrote like Shakespeare. Text generated from Great Expectations told me that I wrote like James Joyce.

http://johno.jsmf.net/knowhow/ngrams/index.php

This random text:
On insensible possession oh particular attachment at excellence in. The books arose but miles happy she. It building contempt or interest children mistress of unlocked no. Offending she contained mrs led listening resembled. Delicate marianne absolute men dashwood landlord and offended. Suppose cottage between and way. Minuter him own clothes but observe country. Agreement far boy otherwise rapturous incommode favourite.

Boy desirous families prepared gay reserved add ecstatic say. Replied joy age visitor nothing cottage. Mrs door paid led loud sure easy read. Hastily at perhaps as neither or ye fertile tedious visitor. Use fine bed none call busy dull when. Quiet ought match my right by table means. Principles up do in me favourable affronting. Twenty mother denied effect we to do on.

On it differed repeated wandered required in. Then girl neat why yet knew rose spot. Moreover property we he kindness greatest be oh striking laughter. In me he at collecting affronting principles apartments. Has visitor law attacks pretend you calling own excited painted. Contented attending smallness it oh ye unwilling. Turned favour man two but lovers. Suffer should if waited common person little oh. Improved civility graceful sex few smallest screened settling. Likely active her warmly has.

Greatest properly off ham exercise all. Unsatiable invitation its possession nor off. All difficulty estimating unreserved increasing the solicitude. Rapturous see performed tolerably departure end bed attention unfeeling. On unpleasing principles alteration of. Be at performed preferred determine collected. Him nay acuteness discourse listening estimable our law. Decisively it occasional advantages delightful in cultivated introduced. Like law mean form are sang loud lady put.

Folly words widow one downs few age every seven. If miss part by fact he park just shew. Discovered had get considered projection who favourable. Necessary up knowledge it tolerably. Unwilling departure education is be dashwoods or an. Use off agreeable law unwilling sir deficient curiosity instantly. Easy mind life fact with see has bore ten. Parish any chatty can elinor direct for former. Up as meant widow equal an share least.

Admiration we surrounded possession frequently he. Remarkably did increasing occasional too its difficulty far especially. Known tiled but sorry joy balls. Bed sudden manner indeed fat now feebly. Face do with in need of wife paid that be. No me applauded or favourite dashwoods therefore up distrusts explained.

Remain lively hardly needed at do by. Two you fat downs fanny three. True mr gone most at. Dare as name just when with it body. Travelling inquietude she increasing off impossible the. Cottage be noisier looking to we promise on. Disposal to kindness appetite diverted learning of on raptures. Betrayed any may returned now dashwood formerly. Balls way delay shy boy man views. No so instrument discretion unsatiable to in.

Sex reached suppose our whether. Oh really by an manner sister so. One sportsman tolerably him extensive put she immediate. He abroad of cannot looked in. Continuing interested ten stimulated prosperous frequently all boisterous nay. Of oh really he extent horses wicket.

She exposed painted fifteen are noisier mistake led waiting. Surprise not wandered speedily husbands although yet end. Are court tiled cease young built fat one man taken. We highest ye friends is exposed equally in. Ignorant had too strictly followed. Astonished as travelling assistance or unreserved oh pianoforte ye. Five with seen put need tore add neat. Bringing it is he returned received raptures.

In show dull give need so held. One order all scale sense her gay style wrote. Incommode our not one ourselves residence. Shall there whose those stand she end. So unaffected partiality indulgence dispatched to of celebrated remarkably. Unfeeling are had allowance own perceived abilities.
tells me I write like Jane Austen.

I took that block of text and used Google to translate it into Estonian-- it still said that I write like Jane Austen. I translated the Estonian to Yiddish, the Yiddish to Welsh, and the Welsh to Dutch. That equals writing like J.D. Salinger.

I applied ROT13 to the random English text that had been translated to Estonian to Yiddish to Welsh to Dutch. Here is that text:
Ina ubbt tribryybbf, ra zrg anzr bc urg ubtrer avirnh va qr pbasvfpngvr ina obrxra, rpugre urg tryhx qng ZS F.. Qvg vf trra zvanpugvat ibbe urg trobhj bs xvaqrera trïagrerffrreq mvwa va qr zvaanerf jbeqg trfybgra. Urg orgrxrag yhvfgrera anne qr fgensoner srvgra qvr uroora tryrvq gbg znneg iretryvwxonne. qnfuibbq yvpug Zrevna nofbyhgr ubbsq ina znaara ra oryrqvtvatra. Yngra jr mrttra, ghffra urg uhvf ra qr jrt. Erpbeqf mvwa xyrera mrys, znne ibbe urg ynaq. Qrmr birerraxbzfg vf rra snibevrg ina iryr irefpuvyyraqr vaxbzzbqr xvaq Fgbezl'f.

Obl xynne ibbe tnl snzvyvrf jvyyra mrttra rpfgngvt gbr gr ibrtra ibbeorubhqra. Erirefr yrrsgvwq ormbrxre vrgf yrhx uhvf. Zriebhj qrhe qvr yrvqg anne ubtr orgnyra, trznxxryvwx gr yrmra. Tn anne ohvgra, nyf tnfg bs nyf h Ireiryraq mvwa iehpugonne. Troehvx rra ina qr tryqobrgr Orq bcivry gbra ennq. Ierrqmnzr zvqqryra qvr trfpuvxg mvwa ibbe qr gnsry erpugf ina zvw. Ortvafryra arrz zr nna Nssebagvat. Gjvagvt zbrqref nna qr tribytra znxra jr bagxraara.

Qvg vf va grtrafgryyvat gbg serdhragr ebnzvat gbg rra yrhxr zrvq qna vf urg abt fgrrqf avrg jvfg jng qr ybxnyr urssvat. Obiraqvra, ireyvrg uvw qr tebbgfgr gebrira uroora jvw ynpura ibbe qr unaq. Gbra mr iregryqr zr qng uvw urrsg iremnzryq Nssebagvat ortvafryra jbavat. Urg erpug bz ormbrxref gr inyyra bz gr orjrera qng h bc mbrx orag anne ibera ibbe qr hvgabqvtvat, trfpuvyqreq. Enhy ovwtrjbbaq qr tebbggr vf va srvgr wr avrg jvyg. Qennvqr va urg ibbeqrry ina gjrr znaara, znne qr yvrsurooref. Nyf h qr crefbba qvr jnpugra bc rra yntr trzrrafpunccryvwxr - rpug. Orgrer frxf cnera zvaqre fvreyvwxr ubssryvwxurvq uremvrar orfyhvg. Jnnefpuvwayvwx npgvrs va unne uneg.

Shareny ertryvatra ibbe urg troehvx ina nyyr qr unz hvg. cebsrffvbaryr Hafnglnoyr va mvwa ormvg bs hvg. Nyyr zbrvyvwxurqra ovw qr orbbeqryvat ina qr nofbyhgr gbranzr ina qr natfg. Va grtrafgryyvat gbg urg orq xvwxra ireehxg qbbe urg uneg. Bc qr bannatranzr irenaqrevat va oryrvq. Trubhqra bz gr orfyvffra bire urg ireqent trxbmra. Fpurecgr jnf avrg gr yhvfgrera anne urg qvfpbhef ina qr cevwf ina bamr erpugra. nsqbraqr npgvr jbeqg ns ra gbr mvwa trgrryq va rra nnagerxxryvwx ibbeqrry. Nnatrmvra qr jrggryvwxr znavre bz rra iebhjryvwxr ibez mvatra yhvq.

qbzurvq jrqhjr Qbjaf vf rra ina qr jrvavtr jbbeqra va mrira wnne. Nyf mr ireyvrmra qng rra qrry ina urg cnex, znne Ufh. Ivaq qng qr cebwrpgvr mbh jbeqra trnpug thafgvt gr mvwa. Qr orabqvtqr vasbezngvr, urg vf trabrt. Nyf h jvyg qng rra iregerx hvg qr qnfuibbqf bs rqhpngvrs mvwa. Troehvx qr erpugre rra nnatranzr troerx nna avrhjftvrevturvq, zrarre jvy zrgrra. Rra fvzcryr srvg ina urg yrira zrg urg bbt bc qr trobbegr ina gvra gr mvra. Ryx ina irefr Tbys xna nnagbara qr ibbeznyvtr Ryvabe. Gbgqng zrag jrqhjanne qvr gra zvafgr tryvwx crepragntr.

Jr mvwa innx bztrira qbbe qr orjbaqrevat ibbeorubhqra. Erznexnoyv, zrre gvwq ibbe irry ina qr fcrpvsvrxr zbrvyvwxurqra. Orxraq nyf qr fgnneg, znne Onyy urrsg irebagfpuhyqvtq ibbe ierhtqr. Iennt rra mrre bairejnpugr znavre irg vf ah uhycrybbf. Trmvpug bire urg troerx ina qr iebhj va erxravat troenpug. Trra uhvfqvrera bs tebrgra zr, qna qnfuibbqf jnagebhjg gbrtryvpug.

Oyvwsg qbbe urg yrira ubrsg gr qbra. Gjrr ina whyyvr mvwa irg Snaal, qevr Qbjaf. Znel ireybbe urg zrrfg reafgvt. Qhes, mbnyf hj annz, arg nyf urg yvpunnz. Geniry Tebhc bc urg iretebgra ina urg ns bazbtryvwx. Urg uhvf vf bc mbrx anne yhvqehpugvtre, jr orybira. Rrgyhfg ibbe qr irejvwqrevat ina ievraqryvwxurvq yrreg uvw inatg. Ah greht anne qr qnfuibbq urrsg ireenqra nyyr urg ireyrqra. Fgnaqnneq jbeqg rra ireyrtra wbatra bz onara gr fgbccra. Trra xrhmr orgrxrag qng qr ybt hafnglnoyr

Urg yvwxg jr uroora qr anorfgnnaqra orervxg. Bu rpug, qr gjrr mhffra. Rra ngyrrg vf urg tebbg trabrt vf bz unne ah gr trira. Urg xjnz avrg va urg ohvgraynaq xvwxra anne ibbegqheraqr orynatfgryyvat va rra jryineraqr gvra wnne gr fgvzhyrera, innx avrg nyyrznny trx. Bu, wn mrysf gvwqraf mvwa cnneq bc urg jvpxrg.

Urg vf zrre ynjnnv nyf ivwsgvra Rkcbfrq Cnvagrq iretvffvat jnpugra ivws. Fhecevfvatyv, unqqra qr zrafra avrg fary ireyngra, ubrjry abt avrg qrsvavgvrs. Ra zrre wbatrera Grtryf, qr fvgr trobhjq qbbe qr qvxxr irag. Jvw mvwa qr tebbgfgr ievraqra wr qbrg urgmrysqr nyf uvw tebaqvt jreq oybbgtrfgryq nna urg baorxraqr. Ervf va trqnpugra jnaarre ibyyrqvtr fgrha bs cvnab, wr gebhj. Znavre bz fnzra gr fgryyra avrg bire gbg urg argjrex gbr gr ibrtra zvffpuvra. Jng uvw greht anne qr inatfgra.

Gbba onneq qhf jr zbrgra birejrtra. Rra, urg tribry qng nyyr qehx va mvwa fgvwy, ubzb fpuevwira. Vaxbzzbqr avrg baf yrira mrys. Zrg vaortevc ina qvrtrara qvr zbrgra bcxbzra ibbe mvpumrys. Qnnebz vf re rra geraq qvr qr Gbrxraavat ina urg iremraqra ina znexrevat vaqehxjrxxraq. Qr batribryvturvq ina uha fgrha vf urg irezbtra gr ubhqra.
That passage, the site tells me, means that I write like David Foster Wallace.

The only writer's name that is relevant to that site is Thomas Tusser.

Last edited by ardeegee; 07-21-2010 at 07:21 PM.
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Old 07-21-2010, 08:04 PM   #8
Moejoe
Banned
Moejoe did not drink the Kool Aid.Moejoe did not drink the Kool Aid.Moejoe did not drink the Kool Aid.Moejoe did not drink the Kool Aid.Moejoe did not drink the Kool Aid.Moejoe did not drink the Kool Aid.Moejoe did not drink the Kool Aid.Moejoe did not drink the Kool Aid.Moejoe did not drink the Kool Aid.Moejoe did not drink the Kool Aid.Moejoe did not drink the Kool Aid.
 
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Seriously? You didn't twig immediately that it's a thinly veiled 'pimp my stuff' site? It's just a random bit of web-nonsense to bring in viewers for their other products. Of course it can't accurately determine if you write like someone else, that'd take a lot more computing power and sophistication than some little app on a website. This thing is just the same as a 'Madame Zorba Fortune Booth' or a 'Magic 8 Ball' and a fun way to bring in customers, rather than the usual spam.

Jesus, there was no need for the Woodward and Bernstein approach. Is your surname Killjoy by any chance?

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Old 07-21-2010, 09:29 PM   #9
omk3
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Scam? You mean that people might actually believe that they write like whoever, just because some web script said so?
Come on, it's just some random fun!
Though I do write like Lovecraft, obviously!
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Old 07-21-2010, 09:50 PM   #10
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Well it said I wrote like Vladimir Nabokov, and I completely believed it. Completely.
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Old 07-21-2010, 10:10 PM   #11
ardeegee
New Musicians of Bremen
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Quote:
Originally Posted by omk3 View Post
Scam? You mean that people might actually believe that they write like whoever, just because some web script said so?
No, the scam part is where, after telling you that you write like some great author, they want to publish your books for you. It (had) links to a vanity press trolling for suckers, sort of like (in the US) the "Who's who" books that exist for no purpose other than to sell copies of the list to the people on the list.

(Link is to the site that showed that, but I see that the "I write like" site has changed it's link since that original series of posts I saw a few days back.)

http://nielsenhayden.com/makinglight...02.html#012502

So-- the "scam" part connecting it to a vanity press may have changed, but given that the site doesn't even need actual words-- any randomly typed alphanumeric characters will do-- to give a recommendation shows that the algorithm has no value whatsoever.

This site should give equally compelling results:

http://www.richardclegg.org/write/
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Old 07-22-2010, 09:29 AM   #12
Redfox
aka Anne Lyle
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OK, so it's a silly meme, and I really should have been writing (thank you, Mighty Mur!) - but I didn't pay the slightest bit of attention to the marketing messages. The ubiquity of that ****ing "lose x pounds of belly fat" ad has caused my brain to develop a major blind spot to internet advertising of all kinds

OTOH I'm pretty sure it's not totally random. Apart from an excess of James Joyce (huh? Is that the default "I have no idea" result?), most of my hits were SF, fantasy, or 18th century writers like Defoe and Swift. I suspect the vocabulary is a major element - no modern technology in my book, but plenty of non-contemporary stuff (swords, doublets, etc)...
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Old 07-22-2010, 09:54 PM   #13
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I took a minute to kill some time, and Madame Bubiska thinks that I write like Mark Twain
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Old 07-22-2010, 10:15 PM   #14
Vintage Season
Pulps and dime novels...
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Ironically, the idea of using an adaptive spam filter for literary pattern recognition is not entirely without merit (although the results would be more meaningful if they started with a scene-based structural analysis and gave a percentage-weighted interpretation, based upon similarities to multiple authors).

As a quick test, I fed the site a selection of scenes from two of my unpublished stories. Each time I offered the same scene, the site said it resembled the same author... but out of a dozen different scenes I tested, I was never compared to the same author for differing scenes.

If I wasn't a writer, and was instead looking for a way to kill time, I might even try to develop the concept further. It has potential, if you aren't tied to a serious interpretation of literary worth.

- M.
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Old 07-23-2010, 08:48 AM   #15
Redfox
aka Anne Lyle
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Vintage Season View Post
As a quick test, I fed the site a selection of scenes from two of my unpublished stories. Each time I offered the same scene, the site said it resembled the same author... but out of a dozen different scenes I tested, I was never compared to the same author for differing scenes.
I did get multiple hits over the course of 20 chapters - H G Wells at least twice, and James Joyce half a dozen times. Maybe my writing/vocabulary is a bit more consistent than yours, or I chose bigger chunks? My chapters are 3-4k.
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