I am having real difficulty writing a post I very much want to write (I rarely force myself to write in the way I am doing right now, and this is why — it’s extremely time-consuming and exhausting). So here is a more frivolous post for the time being.
A friend just told me I Write Like, a website that supposedly examines your writing and compares it to various well-known authors to try to figure out who your writing is the closest to. I have no idea how accurate it is, or even what criteria it uses for deciding who writes like who. But for some reason most of my results have come back as this:
I had no idea who David Foster Wallace was until today, and now I only know a little bit of who he is, which isn’t much better. This is the one I got for things like my DSQ article, and The Fireworks Are Interesting, among many others. It’s by far the most common of my results.
Some other results I got:
H.P. Lovecraft!?! o_O The first to get that one was my first feline ethics post, I can’t see the resemblance. (But presumably it has something to do with word use or sentence structure, not with content, since there’s nothing Lovecraftian about cats. I got Asimov for the second feline ethics post for whatever that’s worth. Then again, the first feline ethics post had a lot of quotations from other people in it.) This is the most common one I get besides David Foster Wallace, and I find that incredibly disturbing.
Isaac Asimov (the second feline ethics post).
Arthur C. Clarke (A post called About this “can’t defend themselves” stuff.)
Vladimir Nabokov (Because I have never liked gravitational metaphors of depression)
Cory Doctorow (What You Know)
Lewis Carroll. (The Meaning of Power)
George Orwell (Echostaffia and Power — I removed the quotations from other people)
On most of those I only wrote one or two of the links I used, although with the first two especially there were many more than that considering I went through dozens of things I’d written, and even on some of the others there were more than a couple.
So basically… I write like a bunch of sci-fi/fantasy authors? And especially David Foster Wallace and (somewhat fewer) H. P. Lovecraft1?!? This is quite odd. I hope my writing is not as hard to read as Lovecraft. And I seriously wonder what this site bases their analyses on.