Never Explain Anything

When I grow up, I want to write a book. Until then, I’m a writer-in-training, flexing my writing “muscles” in the blogosphere. But my compulsion to wordsmith every line of text I see forces me to continually analyze (perhaps over-analyze) what I write. (How could I have been more precise? Is that a legitimate departure from grammar rules? Why do I use so many parenthetical comments?) As a part of this ongoing analysis, I also had the gall to see how I stack up against other writers. I know that comparisons with other writers do not validate or invalidate what I do, but the ease and anonymity of the Internet is too hard to resist for stuff like this. In the last month I’ve run across two ways to evaluate my writing: www.iwritelike.com  and the Flesch-Kincaid readability calculator at http://www.standards-schmandards.com/exhibits/rix/index.php

I entered the text of several of these blog posts at Iwritelike, which uses word choice and writing style to see “which famous author you write like.” Evidently, I write like H. P. Lovecraft or David Foster Wallace. These two men weren’t famous to me so I Googled them. Lovecraft wrote in the weird fiction genre of the 1920s and created the Cthulthu monster. (Heard of him? Me neither. Think Edgar Allan Poe and Stephen King.) Wallace, a novelist and essayist who committed suicide in 2008, authored Infinite Jest in 1996, a novel with a 388 end notes, some with footnotes of their own. Though lauded by some, Infinite Jest has also been described as “bloated, boring, gratuitous, and — perhaps especially — uncontrolled.” (The title of this post is a quote from Mr. Lovecraft.)

The Flesch-Kincaid readability test was developed in 1975 by the US Navy as a measure of difficulty of their training manuals. I scored 50 in readability at a grade 11 level.

So, my writing style can now be categorized as obscure, having too many side comments, and creepy, especially for high school juniors. Good to know.chithlus

 

This is Chutlthu Googling me.

 

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