Wednesday, July 14, 2010

I Write Like a Dead Man

So, there I was, minding someone else's business on the internets, when I came across a web site that promised to analyze my writing and compare it with a famous writer's style. So I pasted some recent-ish offal from this precious, precious blog into it and this result flew back at me with the speed and alacrity of a maggot:

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

I agree.* My writing style is often indistinguishable from that of a dead person.**

Weirdly enough, "The brain is wider than the sky" by Emily Dickinson also resembles the style of David Foster Wallace, if the web site in question is to be believed. Don't decide -- it has done so for you -- this resembles the writing style of David Foster Wallace:

THE BRAIN is wider than the sky,
For, put them side by side,
The one the other will include
With ease, and you beside.

The brain is deeper than the sea,
For, hold them, blue to blue,
The one the other will absorb,
As sponges, buckets do.

The brain is just the weight of God,
For, lift them, pound for pound,
And they will differ, if they do,
As syllable from sound.

* No, I don't.***
** Too soon?
*** Then again, I do tend to write a lot of footnotes,**** and sometimes they get quite lengthy. I am, moreover, given to fits of self-absorption and allusiveness and prolixity and grammatical pedantry and sesquipedalian logorrheic imperiousness. I think the footnotes must be some kind of defense mechanism whereby I convince myself that putting qualifiers in footnotes blunts whatever sharpness I convey in the body of the text, or indeed elsewhere in a footnote. "Don't worry," I seem to say, "soon enough all of this will be qualified away or outright retracted."
**** This is tedious.


Rebecca said...

What good fun! (Read: what a waste of time! Why did I follow this link?) Depending on which blog entry I paste in, I write like James Joyce, David Foster Wallace, Chuck Palahniuk, or Isaac Asimov. I did enter some text from Ulysses and found that James Joyce writes like James Joyce, so at least they got that right.

Dale said...

Rebecca, I know, right? I was expecting better things with the Emily Dickinson poem. I realize this whole thing was probably thrown together in half an hour, but jeebus, Dickinson writes like DFW?

Hastily thrown together web-based gimmicks should do better than that.

At least it saw Joyce as Joyce. That's a point for it.