I write like who?

I write like who?

Have you heard of the “I write like” website?  It has recently gone viral and I can see why.  It’s a lot of fun.  You simply paste in an example of some of your writing which it then analyses for style, vocabulary etc, comparing it with the writers in its database.  I tried it using the ‘Finding the pony’ story (20 June) and got two different answers, depending on which paragraphs were included.  The answer I liked most was:

while the second choice was Kurt Vonnegut. Not bad eh?  How flattering!  But is it?

You can find a brief history of the site on Wikipedia. There is some funny stuff on the net about it, especially when people are offended that their “write-alike” is not famous enough, or someone they dislike intensely. For example, try here, or here.

But is it just an example of in-bound marketing, using social media to drive traffic to a website? Jim MacDonald thinks so, and says “they aren’t trying to analyze writing samples: They’re trying to lure newbie authors to the rocks and shoals of vanity publication.”

On the internet, things are seldom entirely as they seem.

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