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Saturday, July 17, 2010

Don't let me write like Dan Brown!

I Write Like by Mémoires, Mac journal software. Analyze your writing!

I heard of the website I Write Like (IWL) on NPR and read about it on Yahoo. After reading it on Yahoo, I figured that it was old news. Similar to how when I first heard about the Spice Girls through Newsweek while living in rural South America, I knew they were probably not the world's hottest band anymore.

IWL was developed by a programmer in Montenegro and uses key word analysis on text that you enter that is similar to the logic used on spam filters. Its creator has only entered 50 authors so your options for who you write like are limited. As you can tell by the badge above, I write like David Foster Wallace based on its analysis of my posts Bring Me a Bucket of Bankers, Love in the Time of MBA's, Free Markets Response to Gaps in the Individual Insurance Market, MBA's seeking health care jobs, Early Results of Medicare Advantage Cuts, and COBRA: Strategies and the Stimulus. At first, I thought that David Foster Wallace had written Breaks of the Game, one of my favorite books about the Portland Trailblazers 1977 NBA championship season and I was really excited. Turns out that David Halberstam wrote that book and that I have never heard of David Foster Wallace. However, since the majority of my most popular posts are written in his style, I checked out his book, Infinite Jest, from the library.

Of my other popular posts, The Legacy of the Leveraged Sell-Out was written like H.P. Lovecraft, the Summer Reading List for non-traditional MBA's was written like science fiction writer Iasacc Asimov, and Lake of the Angels: Olympic Peninsula was written like Stephenie Meyer, the writer of the Twilight series. Given that post is basically a trail guide, I really have to wonder about the Twilight Series.

One of my posts was written like popular writer Dan Brown which horrifies everyone who finds out that they write books with tortured logic and albino monks. Some people are told that they write like horror writer Stephen King and no one seems to know what to make of that. That wouldn't make me happy but it's nowhere near as bad as Dan Brown. Stephenie Meyer is pretty bad, too but I like vampires and werewolves more than Dan Brown's characters.

Personally, I think the programmer should load some really badly written books and attribute them so that someone could be told, "I write like someone who writes DVD programming guides," or "I write like the Unabomber." I admire IWL's creator for exercising this restraint.

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