A recent tweet (unfortunately, I can’t remember whose) alerted me to the existence of an interesting site. It’s called the Gender Genie. What it does is take a snippet of text, analyze it, and guess whether it was written by a man or woman.
My immediate thought was to use it to see if my hero and heroine's passages read like a man and a woman respectively. For the few I tried, they both came back as written by a woman, but I was gratified that my hero’s scenes did score higher on the male scale.
Intrigued by a button for analyzing blog entries I tried again. This time, without fail, every one of my last five blog entries (not including the Squirrels) returned as MALE. So apparently, I write fiction like a woman (maybe because it’s romance?), but the real me is more masculine in tone and word choice. I’ll try not to be offended. 😉
No actually, I’m not really surprised. I lost my girl-card years ago when I finally admitted I hate shopping, high heels, and dresses. I know. I have also spent most of my life working in male-dominated professions and environments. Programmer, manufacturing engineer. Football office, health club, sporting goods store.
Regardless of what it says about me, I think the Gender Genie has the potential to be a fun and instructive tool for analyzing your own writing. Give it a try. Be sure to check out the analysis chart below for clues on male/female identifiers. You might be surprised by the simple word choices that make a difference. And if you're suffering from insomnia, click the link for the original research paper that spawned the whole thing.
If you try the Genie, let me know. I’d love to hear your results.
Even this entry, though admittedly a bit short, came up male…