Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Apropos of Nothing

Internet memes are brain-sucking leeches, but just like everyone else, I find 'em irresistable. The latest to come across my screen is "I Write Like," a statistical analysis tool that purports to tell you "what famous writer you write like" by examining "your word choice and writing style and compar[ing] them to those of the famous writers." Despite the dubious provenance and accuracy of this tool, my curiosity was sufficiently piqued (my standards are kind of low, though), and I dumped a bunch of my blog posts into the thing.

It told me that I write like David Foster Wallace.

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

I kept pasting different blog posts into the tool to see if I'd get a different response, but nope -- every single block of text I submitted came back with the same result. (With the exception of one: Evidently, I have a little H.P. Lovecraft in me as well. Especially when I write about dietary supplements.)

On the plus side, this might mean that I have a writing voice like DFW's, featuring "a postmodern mixture of high- and low-brow linguistic traits." That sounds pretty cool.

On the minus side: (1) DFW killed himself, (2) I've never managed to finish any of his books due to my lack of requisite mental firepower and short attention span (although I've enjoyed a bunch of his essays -- in particular, "A Supposedly Fun Thing I'll Never Do Again" and "Consider the Lobster"), and (3) this confirms my long-held suspicion that my writing style is utterly derivative and unoriginal. FANtastic.