Monday, 10 November 2008

Male (88%), writing like Oscar Wilde (35%)

Looking into Paul Rayson's blog and discovered an interesting link: It is a web form where you can put in an URL and you get an estimate whether the author of this text is male or female. For me it worked great ;-) It says that the text I wrote in my blog is with 88% written by a male. I tried it with a few more of my pages and it worked. Then I looked at some pages of some of my female colleagues and to my surprise it seems they do not write their web pages by themselves (as the program indicated 95% male writer) - they probably all have a hidden male assistant ;-)

While I was in Lancaster I shared for most of the time an office with Paul. During this time I learned a lot of interesting things about corpus linguistics and phenomena in language in general - just by sharing the office. One fact at that at the time was surprising to me is that if you take 6 words from an arbitrary text in the exact order as they appear in the text and you search on the web for the exact phrase it is likely that you will only find this text. How many hits do you get for phrase "I was at Trinity College reading" in google? Try it out ;-) [to students: that is why not getting caught when you plagiarize is really hard]

From I came to and to my great surprise I write like Oscar Wilde (35%) and Friedrich Nietzsche (30%). Thinking of social networks (and in particular the use of languages within closed groups) such technologies could become an interesting enabling technology for novel applications. Perhaps I should visit Paul again in Lancaster…

PS: and I nearly forgot I am a thinker / INTJ - The Scientists (according to

PPS (2008-11-17): a further URL contrinuted from my collegues on the gender topic:

1 comment:

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