Sunday, June 29, 2008

Unsex Me Here!

On the internet are many ways to waste an hour or two, some of them quite innocent, such as The Gender Genie, which purports to divine the sex of an author from their text.

Milton's scores (1667 words from Book 1 of Paradise Lost):
Female Score: 2646
Male Score: 1707

Apparently 'with' is preponderantly both female and Miltonic.

Lady Shakespeare (1806 words from scene 1 of A Midsummer Night's Dream):
Female Score: 2875
Male Score: 1875

Again, lots of points from 'with.'

If we consult a history (1171 words from Henry V.3.1-2) Bill's a man again, if barely:
Female Score: 1579
Male Score: 1620

Tragedy (1016 words from the last scene of Othello):
Female Score: 1448
Male Score: 1316

A woman here (and 'not' overtakes 'with' as the chief point-getter for femininity).

Francis Bacon is safely a man with the 571 words of his essay On Death...
Female Score: 504
Male Score: 1029

...As is Jane Austen, judging from the first 782 words of Pride and Prejudice:
Female Score: 900
Male Score: 1031

Mary Wollestonecraft, too, must have duped us all, if we consult the first 2712 words of A Vindication of the Rights of Woman:
Female Score: 2790
Male Score: 3940

Judging from these results alone, I rather think this site is better for telling what is prose and what is poetry, an hypothesis which I find much more compelling when we consider that...

Walt Whitman (starting from the first 1962 words of 'Starting from Paumanok') is a man!
Female Score: 2394
Male Score: 2767

P.S. To my adoring public I must apologize as much for the cursory matter of this post as the great tardiness with which it has come: being pressed first with finals, then travel, and at last a mild but uncomfortable illness, I am settling only now into what shall, I hope, become a regular summer schedule. I intend no more to try the patience of my esteemed and regular readers, nor leave the visit of an expectant browser unrewarded.
I am thus, as always, your humble servant,
C.A. Rivera, for now, a man
(Words: 325
Female Score: 562
Male Score: 587)