Viral Writing Analyzer Offers No Solace For The Literate

Assuming you’re down with this whole ‘the internet’ thing, you’ve probably tripped and fell over this I Write Like site in the last week or so. Thing’s gone viral as hell. I Write Like doesn’t play around – it does exactly what you’d expect, analyzing and comparing writing (presumably, your own) to that of famous authors. Hm? What’s that? Yeah, fine, you go try that out. You already clicked on this article anyway – really, my job is done.

But seriously, I Write Like is not without its quirks. Written by Russian programmer Dmitry Chestnykh, IWL appears to have little to do with actual writing style. “Who knew?” tweeted Margaret Atwood, recently shocked to discover she writes, in fact, more like Stephen King than herself.

Chestnykh admits that the software is based on email spam filters, and as such is keyword-based; you could write exclusively in bullet-point lists, and be judged a Shakespearean poet. “I wanted it to be an educational thing and also to help people write better,” Chestnykh said, adding that the tool isn’t meant to be taken seriously anyway. “I think that people really like to know how they write, evern if it’s not accurate results. Still, it’s fun for them.”

Indeed. I Write Like is clearly the result of Chestnykh’s passion for literature, accurate results be damned. Apparently, this very blog post sounds like David Foster Wallace.

Oh, wait. Uh oh.

Written by Ty Dunitz

Ty is an illustrator who stays up too late, and has to wear glasses. You can follow him on Twitter if you want to (@glitchritual), but he's just gonna throw your stupid PR crap in the garbage, so don't email him.

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  • Stephanie Queen

    I think people try to read a bit too much into sites like these. It is intended to be fun and not some serious analysis of your writing style.

  • Ole Roy

    I was once an aspiring writer. I wrote a thrilling novel full of twits and turns and complicated plot lines. For a little fun I decided to run my novel through this site expecting a comparison to Stephen King or Dan Brown. Imagine my disappointment when this site said I write like Dr. Seuss. My hopes and dreams have been dashed.