orgtheory.net

who do you write like?

Who do you write like? Enter a few paragraphs of your text in this website’s analysis engine and it’ll spit out a famous author whose writing yours closely resembles.  It turns out that one of my papers is written in the style of Isaac Asimov. In another paper I am Vladimir Nabokov. Having Lis as a coauthor must have brought the Nabokov out of me.

It turns out many sociologists’ writing resembles the prose of H.P. Lovecraft, whose guiding literary style was “cosmic horror” and who is associated with the subgenre weird fiction.

Written by brayden king

July 14, 2010 at 4:19 am

48 Responses

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  1. Isaac Asimov and Stephen King, for a couple paragraphs from two different papers. I’d like to know what exactly is being compared and how many possible outcomes there are etc — a quick look did not reveal details related to their technology.

    This post (https://orgtheory.wordpress.com/2006/11/14/mackenzie-seminar-theory-or-just-so-stories/) says I write like H.P. Lovecraft.

    Like

    tf

    July 14, 2010 at 4:35 am

  2. It’s interesting to also use different paragraphs from the same paper. So far, Lovecraft and Tolstoy within one paper. Another paper returned Dan Brown. Apparently it’s not too hard to go from horror to realist to mass market paperback.

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    paul morgan

    July 14, 2010 at 4:42 am

  3. Most of Fabio’s writing is like Douglas Adams. Omar is Stephen King, through and through.

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    brayden

    July 14, 2010 at 4:46 am

  4. Asimov and Nabokov in two accepted papers – Margaret Atwood in one that is rejected. I tested another one that is still in review: Nabokov again! Can I take that as a prediction, then?

    Like

    Jan

    July 14, 2010 at 5:43 am

  5. When I write commentary on sociology, the analysis says I am Chuck Palahniuk, who is described in WikiLand as a writer of transgressional fiction. When I write commentary on business strategy, I am Douglas Adams. When I am writing my own prose, I am Margaret Atwood.
    I may be scarred by this for the rest of my career.

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    Randy

    July 14, 2010 at 2:17 pm

  6. score one for lovecraft as sociologist
    “My program, I decided, would be to thread the principal streets, talk with any non-natives I might encounter, and catch the eight o’clock coach for Arkham. The town, I could see, formed a significant and exaggerated example of communal decay; but being no sociologist I would limit my serious observations to the field of architecture.”
    –HP Lovecraft, “The Shadow Over Innsmouth”

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    kruppingham jones

    July 14, 2010 at 2:54 pm

  7. I am the translator of numerous social science texts, so I dropped in a few samples of translations from my hard disk and got results ranging from Edgar Allan Poe (for a critique of rational choice theory) to Dan Brown (for a work on democratic political theory). Given these absurd results (which no human reader would reproduce, I assure you), I question the value of the tool.

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    Arthur Goldhammer

    July 14, 2010 at 3:19 pm

  8. who do you write like?

    Whom!

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    Kieran

    July 14, 2010 at 3:22 pm

  9. Thanks Kieran. Apparently I sometimes write like Dan Brown.

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    brayden

    July 14, 2010 at 3:23 pm

  10. I am quite comfortable being like Douglas Adams, especially if it means the first teo books.

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    Fabio Rojas

    July 14, 2010 at 3:24 pm

  11. Kurt Vonnegut!

    In your face!

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    Guillermo

    July 14, 2010 at 4:01 pm

  12. almost every sample of my writing gives a different result, unless my writing style has a much less consistent voice than i think it does, this isn’t a very reliable metric.

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    gabrielrossman

    July 14, 2010 at 5:02 pm

  13. Hm, apparently I write like Jonathan Swift. This is… disturbing…

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    Ted Lemon

    July 14, 2010 at 6:05 pm

  14. dan brown every time! I am dismayed. I’d rather write like asimov.

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    sd

    July 14, 2010 at 6:05 pm

  15. I got HG Wells despite using a paragraph in which I used the word ‘fuck’ four times!

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    Shatterface

    July 14, 2010 at 6:56 pm

  16. Kurt Vonnegut on a second try.

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    Shatterface

    July 14, 2010 at 7:23 pm

  17. Kurt Vonnegut for a pol-econ paragraph. Isaac Asimov for a econ of religion paragraph. Hilarious!

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    Mike M.

    July 14, 2010 at 8:05 pm

  18. My first tries came up as:

    H.P. Lovecraft
    Dan Brown
    James Joyce
    Edgar Allen Poe

    I liked the last two so much that I stopped there.

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    anon

    July 14, 2010 at 8:30 pm

  19. James Joyce is an option? “— Written in the style of Ulysses. — Uh, which chapter? — What?”

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    Kieran Healy

    July 14, 2010 at 8:36 pm

  20. Oh yeah? I got Kurt Vonnegut twice! Anyone want to compare their Bacon numbers with me?

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    Guillermo

    July 14, 2010 at 8:39 pm

  21. I write like Dan Brown. I should quit my job, write a novel, and live like a king as the money rolls in.

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    shakha

    July 14, 2010 at 8:51 pm

  22. I keep getting Ian Fleming!

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    ed walker

    July 14, 2010 at 8:56 pm

  23. Mark Twain

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    jd

    July 14, 2010 at 9:23 pm

  24. When writing about a consent process in one section of a paper, I get Mario Puzo. The rest is Stephen King.

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    Noah

    July 14, 2010 at 10:33 pm

  25. I suspect a fair amount of this analysis is based on content, not writing style. When I entered a few sentences on the Irish potato famine, I was Margaret Mitchell; when I entered a few sentences on the Ukrainian famine in the Soviet Union, I was George Orwell. When I wrote about famine in east Africa, I was Arthur Clarke. (Why? Sri Lanka??)

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    h

    July 15, 2010 at 12:53 am

  26. IMHO, this site is complete BS– though strangely compelling! I put in six clauses from a lease contract that I am using. They rang up as:

    a. Sir Arthur Conan Doyle.
    b. James Fenimore Cooper.
    c. H.P. Lovecraft.
    d. Charles Dickens
    e. David Foster Wallace
    f. Dan Brown

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    ezrazuckerman

    July 15, 2010 at 1:56 am

  27. and I’m beginning to suspect, based on other comments, that “H.P. Lovecraft” really means “not like anyone else in our database.”

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    h

    July 15, 2010 at 1:59 am

  28. I pasted in part of my thesis, and I was told I write like P.G. Wodehouse. Haven’t actually read any of his work, so I can’t comment on accuracy, but I was chuffed to read that he is “an acknowledged master of English prose”, according to the ever-reliable (tongue in cheek) Wikipedia.
    Hmm.

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    helsta

    July 15, 2010 at 3:10 am

  29. After outing a composition instructor as writing like Stephen King, apparently a level of insult constituting cyberbullying, he ran mine from the NFM blog and triumphantly announced that I write like HP Lovecroft. Does that make me sociologist? No more than camping in the garage makes me a Mercedes.

    Intrigued, I tried samples from other blogs I post on and came up as James Joyce (poetry blog), Dan Brown, Arthur Conan Doyle (both on the community announcements blog), but more often Chuck Palahniuk (a community arts/general interest & a snarky personal opinion blog). I haven’t read any of his work (the ONLY such author on the list) but was pleased to learn that he wrote “transgressive fiction.”

    These results lead me to suspect audience awareness as another factor. I haven’t tried it out on email or other writing. I also think there is some meaning to the analyses, but I can only guess at what it might be.

    Working on a list of authors-compared-to, I can’t help noticing that only two women writers have turned.

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    Vanessa Vaile

    July 15, 2010 at 4:41 am

  30. Michel Foucault writes like David Foster Wallace.

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    Guillermo

    July 15, 2010 at 12:55 pm

  31. Edgar Allan Poe (who is one of the answers) write like Nabokov. I declare the site to be an invalid instrument!!!!!

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    fabiorojas

    July 15, 2010 at 4:59 pm

  32. Invalid instrument, yes, but the number of hours of lost productivity among orgtheory readers this week is a sign that’s a pretty fun toy.

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    brayden

    July 15, 2010 at 5:17 pm

  33. “that’s a pretty fun toy.”

    Yes, it’s like an academic equivalent of one of those personality tests in girls’ magazines.

    As a final note, I got a Lovecraft result as well. How pathetic: I’ve got nothing against horror but the man’s prose is appalling.

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    Guillermo

    July 15, 2010 at 5:21 pm

  34. Guillermo, it’s the prose that can’t be named.

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    fabiorojas

    July 15, 2010 at 7:29 pm

  35. I have just pasted in three passages by Asimov himself.

    One came up as written by Asimov, the other as by Ursula K Le Guin, and the last as by Raymond Chandler.

    What a lot of nonsense.

    Like

    Charles Crawford

    July 16, 2010 at 9:46 am

  36. Do bear in mind that the software is still in development, being beta tested by crowdsourcing and may not be BS forever. Every “gotcha” is useful data for developers who are no doubt tracking responses across the web.

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    Vanessa Vaile

    July 16, 2010 at 6:22 pm

  37. I write like Jane Austin. Should I be worried that I write like a girl?

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    SD

    July 20, 2010 at 3:19 pm

  38. Many studies have been done in the area of the life of a prison, inmates and the role that prison officers play in the routine of a prison. However, up until recently, there has been very little research in the life of the prison officer, how he or she copes with their chosen profession, and how that profession affects their everyday life at home, their interaction with their families and friends, how they internalise their training and how this internalisation affects everyone around them. Elaine Crawley researched this area and showed how the job can, indeed, affect a person’s entire world. “… prison officers, their lives and working practices in the prison, their feelings about the work they do and their relationships with prisoners and their fellow officers, have been poorly documented and hence poorly appreciated and understood. Much less known about the impact of the prison on its uniformed staff, and the psychological and emotional adjustments that ordinary men and women must make in order to become prison officers …” (Bennett, Crewe and Wahidin, 2008: 135)
    Crawley’s journal, “Bringing it all back home” , was one of the first major attempts at analysing how work spill over affects the prison officer; how prison work is hard to separate from home life. She recognised that the work of the prison officer would have a major impact on their life, and that there was very little known academically about these effects. Because this was one of the first major attempts at looking at the life of the prison officer, rather than just their role in the prison, it appears that Crawley encountered some resistance from some officers when approached to take part in the research. “One or two of the officers were sceptical at first of an outsider coming in to do research – after all, they are trained to develop a suspicious mind-set.” (HMP Prison Service) Through her research and time spent in prisons, she was able to highlight major issues which face the prison officer, and also those who surround their lives. This has led to some important work being done within the profession. For example, the New Jersey Corrections Department has implemented clear ways for their prison officers to detect when work techniques have started to impose on their home lives, and also how to deal with that before it becomes ‘normal’ in their home to behave in such a way. I will explain this further later on in the piece.
    This piece attempts to analyse Crawley’s work, and will focus on the four main areas which she highlighted in the piece “Bringing it all back home” ; routinisation, contamination, desensitisation and danger. It will also look at the work of Arlie Hochschild, and how her work in relation to emotional labour combines with the issues around prison officers and their work.
    “The process of becoming a prison officer is a slow, difficult and sometimes painful one, involving a complex process of acculturation … it is interesting to note how unprepared most new recruits were for the emotional and domestic demands of prison work.” (Crawley, 2004: 65) The changes a prison officer has to go through in order to adapt to this new way of life are different from those involved in many other professions. For example, the short training period which prison officers can go through prior to going into their first prison doesn’t seem to be sufficient to prepare them. Some countries invest far more time for new recruits, e.g. Norway, where the training period is two years. In England and Wales, the training is eight weeks; hardly adequate time to prepare new recruits physically and emotionally. It could be argued that prison officers need to train ‘on the job’, i.e. being in a classroom for a long time before entering a prison for real wouldn’t prepare them. However, I would dispute this; I feel that it would be reasonable to assume that the basic foundations would be essential as a start to their training. How can a prison officer be expected to deal with potentially volatile or emotionally charged situations without the basic knowledge in how to do so successfully? For some prison officers, they may never have stepped foot into a prison prior to their short training period, and so may not be aware of the stark realities of it until they face these realities.

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    Fiona Burgin

    August 5, 2010 at 9:42 pm

  39. Wrong place!!

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    Fiona Burgin

    August 5, 2010 at 9:43 pm

  40. I find it interesting that I keep getting William Shakespeare as a result, I hadn’t seen anyone else with that result on blogs.

    Like

    Josh

    September 13, 2010 at 1:56 am

  41. When I quoted Shakespeare, he came up as Kipling.

    Like

    Shel

    October 20, 2010 at 8:53 am

  42. Strangely the results seem to vary in accordance to the authors work I seem to be following. However most results point towards Edgar Allan Poe and Lovecraft which I would state as being fairly accurate.

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    Lionel

    October 20, 2010 at 9:43 am

  43. The other results I have had are Mary Shelley, Vladamir Nakobov,Paul Adams and Charles Dickens.

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    Lionel

    October 20, 2010 at 9:47 am

  44. I’d be thrilled if I could write as well as any of the above listed writers. I’m afraid my prose is prosaic.

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    David Hoopes

    October 21, 2010 at 4:08 pm

  45. It told me I should quit writing and get a job doing something else.

    Like

    David Hoopes

    October 21, 2010 at 4:31 pm

  46. Cory Doctorow.

    Would have preferred MaryAnn Kempher, I hear she’s fantastic!

    Oh well.

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    MaryAnn Kempher

    November 28, 2011 at 11:50 am

  47. I was J.K. Rowling :D w00t

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    Michaela

    August 30, 2012 at 1:40 am

  48. Charles, Asimov was so productive writer that it was long suspected he did not write everything himself. You just might have found who were his ghost writers! :)

    Like

    Ivan Z.

    August 30, 2012 at 5:58 am


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