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.
This is Chutlthu Googling me.