Sunday, 18 July 2010

I write like...




Go here to waste a bit of time finding out whose writing style some computer programme judges your own to resemble. (I found it on Salmagundi) I pasted a few posts from this blog into the Analyser and was not especially pleased with some of the verdicts. Three times the computer told me I wrote like H.P. Lovecraft, about whom I know nothing beyond the hatchet-job performed on him by Bo over at Mvtabilitie a while back, where this bit of overwrought twaddle from Lovecraft is excerpted:

The aperture was black with a darkness almost material. That tenebrousness was indeed a positive quality; for it obscured such parts of the inner walls as ought to have been revealed, and actually burst forth like smoke from its aeon-long imprisonment, visibly darkening the sun as it slunk away into the shrunken and gibbous sky on flapping membranous wings. The odour arising from the newly opened depths was intolerable, and at length the quick-eared Hawkins thought he heard a nasty, slopping sound down there. Everyone listened, and everyone was listening still when It lumbered slobberingly into sight and gropingly squeezed Its gelatinous green immensity through the black doorway into the tainted outside air of that poison city of madness.

WTF? Judge, gentle reader, to what mortifying abyss of darksome shame, to what stygian gloomihoods, what pitchy, tenebrific abhorrencies and graveolent fly-blown vilenesses I now must count myself squashed, squelched, battered, shattered, mown down and blast by so condemnatory a comparison! Of course I don't fucking write like that. Do I?*

One post was judged to ressemble the style of Stephen King, another to that of Ray Bradbury - why do I get compared to horror writers? - and another, truly shamingly, was compared to Dan Brown. Dan fucking Brown... the humiliation. I might delete that post. I also got compared to David Foster Wallace, of whom I am sorry to say I had never heard, so I don't know if I should be chuffed or pissed off about that.

Still, I was not compared to Barbara Cartland or Enid Blyton, so I won't get too down about this, as at least I do not stand before you denounced for pallor and wershness of savour, a void of gustatory gratification, tepidity of blood, benumbed and ascintillate wanness...

*****

*No. Computer says that paragraph was written by Daniel Defoe. It decided that the paragraph from Lovecraft was written in the style of Kurt Vonnegut. It's obviously early days.

8 comments:

Bo said...

ha! you don't write like HPL at all. You write like Luca Turin mixed with Terry Castle with a dash of Gore Vidal. I.e., wonderfully.

Vilges Suola said...

Thanks for that, Mark, very generous of you! The 'dash of Gore Vidal' is especially flattering... I love his essays. I was originally inspired to blog by your own stuff, which is brilliant.

Deiniol said...

Dan Brown? Good grief, if he writes anything like you do, I may be persuaded to go out and buy one of his books.

Apparently, I write like "Cory Doctorow", whoever that is.

Vilges Suola said...

Dan Brown is a millionaire several times over and needn't write another word, so why does he keep on churning it out?

Never heard of Cory Doctorow either, but that was another one I got. I think the programme is very much in its infancy...

Fionnchú said...

I'll second Bo-- Vidal for sure for our VS. I suspect too that there's not many writers in this database to choose from. Perhaps the Lovecraft comparison is due to your love of adjectival wit and periodic sentences that weave? I'm trying to account for AI illogic.

Ugh, Lovecraft-- any one except Tolkien who had the scholarly skill and linguistic smarts to assemble a convincingly told mythos-- well, I can't stomach hardly any fantasy or horror or pulp. LOTR ruined me for any of its rivals at twelve but inspired me to become a medievalist. (Not a career choice given my current state of employment I'd recommend-- unless to Bo!)

Vilges Suola said...

Well, thanks for that! I wish... Anyway, I have never read LOTR or even been attracted to it, or to any of its rivals. My attention span is so limited I can really only read essays if I want to remember what I read the following day. Pathetic, really.

Yewtree said...

Cory Doctorow is a science fiction writer.

I got Dan Brown, HP Lovecraft and Stephen King, and was equally horrified by all 3 results.

Fortunately the algorithm used for the tool is not particularly sophisticated and doesn't really analyse your writing style at all.

Two far better writing analysis tools are the "What Myers-Briggs type is your blog?" and "Bullshit Detector".

Vilges Suola said...

Thanks, Yewtree, for the info. Yes, the tool isn't especially well read - everybody seems to get compared to Dan Brown at some point. Glad I'm not alone.

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