I write like Dan Brown.
At least, that's according to the I Write Like site , which was sweeping the Intertubes yesterday (more than 100,000 hits in a single day) as people tried to find out which Famous Writer their deathless prose most resembled. (Brown is the critically slammed author of The DaVinci Code.)
The site was put up on July 9 by Coding Robots, a Silicon Valley-based developer, according to the company's blog .
"Currently it analyzes vocabulary (use of words), number of words, commas, and semicolons in sentences, number of sentences with quotation marks and dashes (direct speech)," wrote Dmitry, who claimed authorship.
The site has received some criticisms, with some people wondering whether it's a scam or simply a random result. People who entered text of Famous Writers into the site often found the text attributed to some other Famous Writer -- including, most notably, Famous Writer Margaret Atwood, who found her work most resembled that of Stephen King. "According to the I Write Like analysis, I write like... Ta da! Stephen King! http://bit.ly/bBCMB3 Who knew?" she tweeted .
"“The Raven” is written in the style of William Shakespeare. Shakespeare’s Sonnet 18 is written in the style of Charles Dickens. The first paragraph of Great Expectations is written in the style of P.G. Wodehouse. It seems authors never write in their own styles," commented one reader of the blog.
In addition, the database of authors -- which thus far is secret -- seems to be slanted toward men, more than one commenter complained. "Okay, so this is fun, but why are all the writers men? There are zillions of equally awesome women writers out there. Most of the writers I matched on have written things I’ve enjoyed, but, seriously, where are the women?" Another blogger systematically tried many female authors and writers of color, noting that they all apparently write like white men.
On the other hand, one person ran a series of Xs through it, only to have the program tell them the author, too, wrote like Dan Brown.
Maybe the program is smarter than we think.