Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Third Time's a Charm

I saw the link I Write Like on a facebook friend's website. It looked interesting, so I decided to give it a try. I randomly selected one of my recent blog entries as my copy to submit to the inquiry box. I chose the Scraps and Dryer Sheets post. The analysis said my writing style was like Margaret Atwood. Interesting. Assuming that a person's writing style is partially the result of the way a person thinks, reasons and believes (along with whatever education and linquistic training they may have received along the way) I would deduce she and I likely have some things in common between us. Okay, I can see some similarities in the things Wikipedia has to say about her.

But, me being the ever curious one and always questioning "why?" couldn't settle on just one analysis. My mind is wondering: What are the things being considered in the analysis? Who came up with this program? What is the process? Sentence structure? word selection? syntax? use of metaphors? command of the English language? use of vocabulary? inventiveness? creativity? How is the computer parsing all this data to arrive at an answer?

Because the anaylis is followed by a presentation of another query: "Do you want to get your book published?" and a link to learn how to secure a book publishing contract, it occurred to me this is just a tool to fish for leads in a marketing or sales campaign. Obviously someone has come up with a clever way to build their sales leads list. Too cynical? Well we are on the internet which is driven by commerce just like everything else, right? (How many banner ads, sidebar ads and pop-ups have you seen so far today?)

I decided I should enter another portion of text and see if I got the same results. Next I chose my last post about Busy Bees Buzzing in the Basil. Well that was interesting. The analysis determined that post was writen like Stephenie Meyer writes. Okay, that's an author's name that I recognized. I cannot say that I recall Margaret Atwood's writing, although I've heard her name before. Don't believe I ever read any of her books. Can't say I read any of the vampire books Stephenie Meyer wrote either. I've seen plenty about the movies based on her books, though.

Okay, ever persistently curious, I wondered if the analysis program was just randomly popping up names with no real analysis to it at all. So I re-entered the copy from the first try. Yep, came up with Margaret Atwood's name again. This called for a third try. Question: If I submitted a third sample would I get one of these two names again? Perhaps the analysis just shows similarities in common with both these writers. Obviously I need to submit copy once more. I chose the Fabric Basket with Grommets post.

I'm chuckling now. At myself. At the things that keep me amused. Ha, ha . . . not only do I think it's funny that I experiment with this analysis engine three times, but I'm taking the time to blog about it. F U N N Y ! Are you all entertained as well? Have you stopped reading and gone over there to try the program yet? Chuckle, chuckle . . .

Third time is a charm - right? It popped up the name Cory Doctorow with the analysis of this copy. {Chuckle, chuckle} Yeah, a tech-geek got thrown into the mix! {chuckle, chuckle} Sweet.

What do all three of these writers have in common? Science Fiction! Or as Margaret Atwood classifies some of her writing, Speculative Fiction, or Social science fiction. Ha, ha, too funny! I do like to read science fiction, though. There have been some of those in my hands over the years. Perhaps that writing style has rubbed off because of things I've read over the years. I'm going to go out on a limb and make an assumption here. Perhaps each of our writing styles are influenced more by what we read than how we are educated, trained and our linquistic skills. Not only can we agree with the conjection that we are what we eat, but we also are what we read. Read any good books lately? Are you keeping them in the realm of happy, wholesome and uplifting? What do you want to be? Do you like horror? mysteries? suspense? romance? history? autobiographies? You are what you read. What a concept. What do you think?

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