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Thursday 15 July 2010

Clever Web Meme – I Write Like..

There’s a clever web site doing the rounds at the moment: “I Write Like” analyses the glorious, flowing prose that you’ve crafted and then tells you that you write so amazingly well that you will have publishers falling over themselves to sign you up as their next big thing.[1]

I waved one of my less awful screeds over the magic joojoo beans and Lo! I write like William Gibson - my dream of being a filthy rich SF author idling away my days on a beach in Montserrat sipping Mojitos may actually come true. And pigs may fly too, no doubt. [2]

The site’s traffic stats, posted earlier on their own blog, shows a growth rate that must be the envy of Web 2.0 entrepreneurs across the globe -  they soared two hundred thousand visitors from a standing start in about three days and it’s not showing any signs of slowing. Clearly the herds of blogging sheep have been dazzled by the bright shiny thing that penders to its collective ego and have responded as required by advertising it to the four corners of the world. [3]

Of course the chattering classes of the Web have risen to the bait and there has been a flood of shrill criticism of the site’s white-male-author bias. The crazies have awoken having found fresh troll food, wailing about the lack of diversity and the insults to minorities and the oppressed everywhere. Clearly the end of days is at hand. But then, I knew that already, it’s always the same. [4]

If an improved version manages to correctly identify my style as that of “Concerned of Turnbridge Wells” then we’ll all know that it has actually matured into a genuine style analysis utility. Traffic will plummet of course, a clever business idea will fade into oblivion and nobody will write about it. Which would be a real fucking shame. [5]

  1. Dan Brown
  2. Vladimir Nabokov
  3. David Foster Wallace
  4. Ray Bradbury
  5. Margaret Atwood

I was hoping to get Douglas Adams or HP Lovecraft in there but apparently I’m not in the mood. And yeah, I know that [a] I can’t actually write like any of these people and [b] testing short paragraphs is cheating but [c] it’s fun so get over it. :) [6]

    6. Harry Harrison.