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Mar 14, 2013

I Write Like ... David Foster Wallace (Infinite Jest 1)

Cool, folks, cool. We blogged about the I Write Like web page two years ago when it compared a simple blogpost of ours to William Shakespeare --- well this sentence already tells you something must be wrong with said app, but we didn't push the issue since the corresponding link had soured in the meantime.


Today, rummaging through Infinite-Jest-blogs in search of pictures, we rediscovered the link under a new web address, and tested it on more pertinent material from the Green Eyes. The app works as expected, there's a window where you paste your text and click a button. An analyzer compares your text to its data base (Bayesian statistics, neural networks, you name it), and returns the name of the author you resemble most (it always comes back with an answer, it never says "Go Away," or "Bah," or uses similar expressions you know so well from your correspondence with the leading publishing houses).

OK, so, we start with the Prologue of the Green Eyes. Not Shakespeare this time, but...



I write like
H. P. Lovecraft
I Write Like by Mémoires, journal software. Analyze your writing!

 ...Horribile dictu, we never read H. P. Lovecraft, can't even properly place her/him. It must be Wahlverwandschaft, then. We taught Artificial Intelligence so we know a thing or two about neural networks. How stable might the application be, we wonder,  what would be the outcome for the next piece of text, Chapter 2 (you know, Chapter 1 has been relegated to an appendix)? And the answer is...



I write like
Rudyard Kipling
I Write Like by Mémoires, journal software. Analyze your writing!

Aha. We learned English in a German high school. We know about Rudyard Kipling. How about Chapter 3 then?


I write like
Chuck Palahniuk
I Write Like by Mémoires, journal software. Analyze your writing!

They must have a sense of humor over there at IWL. Next, Chapter 4, "Blue Moon."  And the answer is...


I write like
David Foster Wallace
I Write Like by Mémoires, journal software. Analyze your writing!

Bingo, Bingo. Finally. It doesn't matter at all that we hadn't read a single syllable of David when writing Chapter 4 in June last year, or that David was barely born when we learned English, DFW, here we come.

OK, one more try, how about all four chapters together?



I write like
H. P. Lovecraft
I Write Like by Mémoires, journal software. Analyze your writing!

Shit.