Paste some of your writing into the box on this site and they’ll tell you which author your style or vocabluary most resembles. It’s very frustrating that they don’t give any details of how they decide it or what stats they are performing. And it would be nice to have a number quantifying how alike they find you. You could the plot your position to a given uncertainty in L-space.
Anyhow, it turns out that when writing comic novels, i’m a bit like this:
My scientific writing sounds a bit like this
That’s fine by me. Interestingly, when I try to write a pastiche of Ian Fleming and James Thurber, I sound more like Fleming.
Click thru to see the Here’s what I fed it..
A man stood on a hill. He looked up at the stars and
tried to remember what on earth he was doing here. Why
had he climbed this hill? Such memory lapses happened
to him all the time when going from the living room to
the kitchen, but this was the first time one had
happened at the top of a big hill. It was a big hill,
he was out of breath. Perhaps, he reflected, this was
not the first time it had happened. After all, his
memory was evidently less than reliable.
There was no fridge at the top of the hill, so he did
not think he had come to get something out of it. There
was no kettle to put on and nothing on which to put it.
There were none of the makings of a cheese salad
sandwich. It seemed increasingly unlikely that applying
the insights of his previous kitchen based amnesia was
going to help here. Although, now that he thought about
it, he could do with a cup of nice tea. And maybe some toast.
The man thought he had better sit down and think things
through. There was a seat – the plastic bench at the
bus stop where he had finally stopped walking. His
kitchen would have been much better but he sat down
anyway because he was tired. He had just walked several
miles. Several miles in the rain and mostly uphill. He
sat for a long time.
He soon forgot about his forgetfulness. He was not
thinking of very much instead. Mostly he just sat
there. Sometimes he prayed, sometimes he looked up at
the stars, but mostly he just sat there. However, by
the time he stood up he had come to a conclusion. It
was time to stop taking his medication.
Moments later a bus arrived at the bus stop and stopped
to let two passengers off. He got on it. He liked
buses. Buses were good.
Chapter 1 – Death
John Smith was dying, again. It happens to even the
truly greatest comedians. John Smith was not great.
Truly, he was not even good. He wasn’t terrible. There
is something memorable and remarkable about a dreadful
comedian. John Smith was forgettable, anyone who had to
sit squirming through his obvious observations,
over-contrived anecdotes and featherweight punchlines
wanted to forget the experience. Occasionally he would
get a few mercy laughs or the momentum of the previous
performer would carry the audience laughing into his
act. But tonight he killed them, he reduced the whole
room to a deathly silence. Yet this would be the second
best performance of his life.
The fantastic acoustics of the Covent Garden Comedy
Club only enhanced the unpleasantness. Tombstones of
silence marked the death of every gasped-out joke.
Everyone in the room could hear everything with crystal
clarity. They clearly wished they couldn’t but no-one
was intervening to put John Smith out of their
collective misery. Instead one hundred and thirty seven
people squirmed uncomfortably in their seats, checking
their watches or looking longingly toward the exit. In
the darkness of back rows friends exchanged pained
looks while the people in the front rows, illuminated
by the footlights were finding their shoes very
interesting, desperate not to make eye contact with the
condemned man before them.
The compere stood sadistically impassive in the
shadows, indulging his long-standing dislike of Smith;
a largely irrational, highly visceral antipathy borne
out of personal loathing and professional derision.
Davie Wales had been on the stand-up circuit seventeen
years, he had toiled through the apprenticeship and was
now acknowledged by his peers as a senior member of
their establishment. He was usually a generous mentor
to struggling newcomers. At least at first, the thing
he really hated was mediocre no-hopers who did not know
when to quit. He was professional jester yet he did not
suffer fools. Fools like Smith. He could not stand nor
understand them. They must know that they were not
funny. Being at the centre of a horror-show like this,
stared down by three hundred despising eyes ought to
work its way into the mind of even the most
self-obsessed egotists. After all, didn’t they claim to
be good at observation?
Attending your own funeral was an unusual thing to do
voluntarily. It might be a thrilling experience, just
once to dig your own grave and deliver your own death
sentence in front of dozens of stony faced mourners
only to will to bury you and piss on the grave. But why
put yourself through repeatedly and why should everyone
else suffer too? Why spend ten minutes every Saturday
night making strangers hate you? Normally losers like
Smith were only inflicted on small groups in upstairs
rooms in pubs, tonight for some inexplicable reason he
was being allowed to make over a hundred new enemies
all at once.
Davie could step in at any point and win the crowd back
at the drop of a hat. If he wanted, he could do it at
the expense of Smith and having the whole room laughing
with him before he had even said a word. All he would
have to do would be to walk onto the stage at a dead
march. The tension would be burst as everyone felt the
relief of release. He had done it many times before and
it never failed. Tonight he was going to let the corpse
swing a little longer before he cut it down.
He was not typically malicious but something about
Smith got up his nose. Nothing in particular
distinguished him from any number of other unfunny
wannabe comedians but Davie had taken an instant
dislike to him when they had first met a few years ago.
Perhaps it was that he was wearing on of those pathetic
supposedly amusing t-shirts. That was the sort of thing
he might do, thought Wales. When Smith turned out to be
as crap at telling joke as he was wearing them, it had
only cemented the hatred. Two years later and if
anything Smith was a shitter comedian but with a
thicker skin that kept him coming back. Still this was
his biggest gig and this was the biggest fuck up Davie
could remember, maybe this would penetrate.
The perceptual origins of the abstract same/different concept in human infants
Very few experiments have studied the two item same/different relation in young human infants. This contrasts with an extensive animal literature. We tested young infants with two novel tasks designed specifically to provide convergent comparative measures. Each infant completed both tasks allowing an assessment of their understanding of the abstract concept rather than task- specific abilities. In a looking time task with photographic stimuli, we found that 8-month-olds are sensitive to the relation but 4-month-olds are not. The second task used an anticipatory eye movement paradigm with simple geo- metric stimuli. On each trial, two colored shapes appear and moved upwards behind an occluder. They reappeared on either the upper left or right depending on the relation between them. Infants at both ages learned and generalized the dependency but only for the different relation. These results show that human infants can learn the same/dif- ferent concept but that, in strong continuity with animal results, their abilities are firmly grounded in perception.
A fundamental characteristic of human cognition is the ability to make use of abstract concepts and perceive similar relations between otherwise unrelated items. These can take a very wide variety of forms including judgements of numerosity and of comparative quantity and size (e.g., largest, smallest), relations expressed by spatial preposi- tions (e.g., above, behind, between) and numerous others. One of the simplest examples is the two item same/dif- ferent (S/D) distinction. Consider the set of 9 distinct items A to I and the pairs AA, BB, CC, DE, FG, HI. The first three pairs share the relationship of sameness and (by contrast) the last three have the common property of dif- ference. These relationships hold at an abstract level, irrespective of the actual items used, and it is this abstraction that defines the relationship. Despite the apparent simplicity from an adult perspective, it has been difficult to demonstrate conclusively with species other than higher mammals and largely ignored in the human infancy literature. Developmental and comparative approaches both have a lot to reveal about adult human concepts (Mareschal et al. 2010). Therefore, we sought to investigate S/D concept learning in infants, taking into account the extensive animal learning literature.