back to article To truly stay anonymous online, make sure your writing is as dull as the dullest conference call you can imagine

To publish online and remain anonymous, boffins from Bulgaria and Qatar advise being mediocre. And if you can't manage that on your own, they have a technique to make your prose less scintillating. Distinctive writing tends to point to a specific author. That's what stylometry, the study of linguistic patterns, aims to reveal …

  1. Tom 64
    Coat

    Clever

    Pity the output is grammatically incorrect.

    </pedantry>

    1. Neil Barnes Silver badge

      Re: Clever

      And not only that; it has changed the fundamental meaning of the phrase.

      In the original, the writer has pride in him/herself. In both modified versions, he/she has pride an a mysterious 'them'.

      1. dan1980

        Re: Clever

        Not to mention the assertion that one would not realise they were being carried to a tomb.

      2. Cuddles Silver badge

        Re: Clever

        "In the original, the writer has pride in him/herself. In both modified versions, he/she has pride an a mysterious 'them'."

        Beat me to it. It changes the meaning of literally every part of the quote. "I am proud" is not the same as "I am proud of them", "I carry my love with me" is not the same as "I carry my beloved", and "he shall never know it" is definitely not the same as "he shall ever know it". Overall it goes from "Because I am proud, I will die without ever letting someone know I love them" to "I am proud of someone, and also carrying the corpse of the person I love who will always know it". It's not dull, it's just wrong.

      3. Baldrickk

        Re: Clever

        Not to mention the difference between "never" (not ever) and "ever" (err... ever)

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Clever

          Not to mention the difference between "never" (not ever) and "ever" (err... ever)

          Well, hardly ever.

    2. Oh Homer
      Windows

      They should study sockpuppets on Usenet

      They've been doing exactly this sort of thing for decades.

      More recently a company called Ntrepid was hired by the US military to spread pro-American propaganda in mainly Arab-speaking social networks. I believe they describe this service as "persona management", since the idea is that one person posts many comments/articles that convincingly appear to come from many different people.

      Or in other words what we old-timers call sockpuppets.

  2. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    I could careless

    Just look out for this little gem "I could careless", and you found yourself a yank 100% certainty.

    1. Geoffrey W

      Re: I could careless

      I could careless, I have carelessed, and I will careless. Yesterday I sat on the cat asleep on my comfy chair. Today I put my wine glass on a table that had been moved and wasn't there. Tomorrow? Who knows what kind of carelessness I will commit. And I'm not a yank, but I do live there (here?) Is it catching?

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: I could careless

        And I'm not a yank, but I do live there (here?) Is it catching?

        Apparently, as you've caught.

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: I could careless

        There is nothing wrong with 'I could care less' it's just a valid as 'I couldn't care less' it just doesn't mean the same thing and the two phrases are not interchangable...

        1. VinceH

          Re: I could careless

          "There is nothing wrong with 'I could care less' it's just a valid as 'I couldn't care less' it just doesn't mean the same thing and the two phrases are not interchangable..."

          With the exception of David Mitchell's rather excellent Soapbox piece, in which it is used only to raise the issue, the only times I have ever heard any Overpuddlians use the phrase, they clearly were using it where "I couldn't care less" made more sense.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: I could careless

      What does it mean, though, when one is capable of caring so little that the world implodes? Surely in that situation the ability to care less is something to be treasured because the day you cannot care less is the apocalypse.

    3. Anonymous Coward
      Mushroom

      Re: I could careless

      Not "100% certainty" forsooth! For verily, the ugly yank pervadeth and polluteth the world of English as a second language, deep into the far corners of many a benighted foreign field.

      Damn. Where's my anonymity?

      1. orphnaugrthy

        Re: I could careless

        yours animosity has gone havix,

        because evidently you/r the author of xkcd (keyword "forsooth!"

    4. VinceH

      Re: I could careless

      "I could care less" is an abomination - but "I could careless" takes that abomination and gift wraps it in an atrocity.

      1. Eddy Ito

        Re: I could careless

        ... takes that abomination and gift wraps it in an atrocity.

        Perhaps AC was being a little careless and couldn't care less whether others care about less cared for writing.

    5. Tikimon

      Re: I could careless

      Yah, that should be "I couldn't care less" but as people got lazy saying it they totally reversed the meaning. There's a point when the words don't mean anything anymore, it becomes a Set Phrase with an encapsulated meaning.

      Correction: Nobody here says "I could careless", they all get the separation of Care and Less correct.

    6. Updraft102

      Re: I could careless

      As one of those "Yanks," I must say that I don't believe I've ever seen that phrase before. It doesn't make any sense. "Careless" is an adjective, but in this sentence it's not modifying a noun as is the function of an adjective. Instead, it's serving as a main verb to the auxiliary verb of "could".

    7. Oh Homer
      Headmaster

      Re: I could careless

      Not so much because of the nonsensical expression itself, than the extremely annoying tendency to compound words that should really be separate, to form new, even more nonsensical words. Particularly annoying examples include "I do this alot" and "I do this everyday". So basically you apportion commonplace items? Are you trying to say that you're an online groceries picker at Tesco? Parlay voo onglaze, mon sherry?

      Another equally annoying Americanism is the use of adjectives as adverbs, e.g. "that is super important". I really hate that one.

      But even when not inappropriately compounded, "I could care less" is a frankly bizarre expression (or should that be a "super bizarre expression"?). What exactly is that supposed to mean, anyway: that it's possible that you could care less? So you care more than you might otherwise, for some unspecified reason? Are you deliberately choosing not to care less, because that's exactly what they'll be expecting you to do, and anyway you picked a bad week to give up amphetamines, so caring less than is absolutely necessary might be pushing things a little too far?

      If these cheeky colonists insist on having their own language, they could at least make an effort to have it make sense. They also probably shouldn't be calling it "English". Maybe they could call it "Dublish".

      1. This post has been deleted by its author

      2. GrapeBunch

        Re: I could careless

        But if you do find yourself careless in Blighty, take the train! BriteRaile is a genuine olde tyme experience, Guaranteed. "I could careless" is no impediment to travel.

      3. GrapeBunch

        Re: I could careless

        "I could careless" means simply this: that some time after Jefferson, they abandoned the Socratic Method.

  3. dan1980

    If this process is - or can be - automated, then I think we are missing the bigger picture: improving online posts.

    After all, surely abysmal prose can be identifiable as well so to provide useful obfuscation any such tool must be able move a piece of text towards 'average' from either direction.

    Going further, could such technology be packaged as a browser plug-in, enabling the viewer to translate Youtube comments into passable English on the fly?

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      translate Youtube comments into passable English on the fly

      The sheer processing grunt needed for such an operation does not exist and probably won't for another 1000 years. Even the human mind struggles with that problem.

      1. Dave 126 Silver badge

        Re: translate Youtube comments into passable English on the fly

        > The sheer processing grunt needed for such an operation does not exist and probably won't for another 1000 years

        It depends upon what the input is. Sometimes we use language to describe something fairly objective, such as how to assemble a desk. Sometimes we might use seek to use language so formally, so free of ambiguity, that computers could follow our instructions. Or people with whom we have a business contract.

        And at another point of the spectrum, we have poetry and jokes.

    2. Dave 126 Silver badge

      > could such technology be packaged as a browser plug-in, enabling the viewer to translate Youtube comments into passable English on the fly?

      Doubtful. I think comments like "ur so gay you faggot" already tell us more than enough about the young cretin who wrote it.

      1. Neil Barnes Silver badge
        Headmaster

        Doubtful. I think comments like "ur so gay you faggot" already tell us more than enough about the young cretin who wrote it.

        Am I the only person who, whenever encountering the word 'ur' thinks first of the Chaldees, and wonders why it wasn't capitalised?

        1. Swarthy Silver badge

          encountering the word 'ur'

          I either think of the ancient city of Ur, or as the prefix "ur-" which indicates the original. So "ur gay..." makes me think of Harvey Milk, or maybe Spartan soldiers.

    3. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

      "If this process is - or can be - automated, then I think we are missing the bigger picture: improving online posts."

      You mean ...no, surely not...amanfrommars?

  4. Flocke Kroes Silver badge

    OMG, like 80's tech. Whatever

    Deed zeey test it veet zee incheffereeser? Bork Bork Bork!

  5. John Smith 19 Gold badge
    Unhappy

    Demonstrating that maintaining complete annonymity is seriously hard work.

    IE protecting your real identity from absolutely everyone

    OTOH protecting your privacy, so that your bank details, your medical history, what you buy and what you read, should be everyone's right.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Demonstrating that maintaining complete annonymity is seriously hard work.

      "[...] and what you read, [...]"

      That's more difficult. We unconsciously pick up information and style from what we read in our lifetime. We also use explicit quotes or book references in the course of a comment. El Reg threads often contain allusions that are only recognised by the cognoscenti.

      1. Pompous Git Silver badge

        Re: Demonstrating that maintaining complete annonymity is seriously hard work.

        "El Reg threads often contain allusions that are only recognised by the cognoscenti."
        But that's only because we've gone to the bother of being cognoscentiised.

        1. Will Godfrey Silver badge
          Happy

          Re: Demonstrating that maintaining complete annonymity is seriously hard work.

          Screen cleaner!

        2. Michael Thibault

          Re: Demonstrating that maintaining complete annonymity is seriously hard work.

          "cognoscentiised"

          Shirley you mean "cognoscentified"?

          1. Pompous Git Silver badge

            Re: Demonstrating that maintaining complete annonymity is seriously hard work.

            "Shirley you mean "cognoscentified"?"
            I rather like the double i in cognoscentiised...

  6. Steve Davies 3 Silver badge

    I see a market here

    for an auto BLANDER app/program.

    Something that makes what you say so bland that it can't be identified as coming from you.

    The problem is that in doing so it will make it unreadable so no one would be interested in what you are going to say anyway.

    1. Dave 126 Silver badge

      Re: I see a market here

      > The problem is that in doing so it will make it unreadable so no one would be interested in what you are going to say anyway.

      Yep, that'd be a problem for activists and political figures, less so for criminals.

      E.g: "if you shoot T. Hancock of 23 Railway Cuttings East Cheam I will deposit 3 BTC in your wallet".

      Shit, if the hitman had a webform (like Amazon) instead of an email address, the would less scope still for idiosyncratic language.

      1. Zimmer
        Coat

        Re: I see a market here

        E.g: "if you shoot T. Hancock of 23 Railway Cuttings East Cheam I will deposit 3 BTC in your wallet".

        ....they will get the wrong man... Mr A. Hancock lives there...

        1. frank ly

          Re: I see a market here

          Anthony Aloysius St John Hancock, to give him his full name.

        2. Swarthy Silver badge

          Re: I see a market here

          Was that Mr Buttle, or Mr. Tuttle?

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: I see a market here

        Alexa, please delete miscreant.

    2. FatGerman

      Re: I see a market here

      >> Something that makes what you say so bland that it can't be identified as coming from you.

      It already exists, it's called PowerPoint.

    3. nijam Silver badge

      Re: I see a market here

      Something that makes what you say so bland that it can't be identified as containing any information.

      1. sebt
        Mushroom

        Re: I see a market here

        "Something that makes what you say so bland that it can't be identified as containing any information."

        I think corporate PR-droids have just been automated out of their jobs.

        I've found my tiny violin, but I keep losing the tiny bow.

    4. Updraft102

      Re: I see a market here

      You could always use an automated translation routine to translate it to another language, then another, then back to English. There was a site years ago that would use babelfish.altavista.com to do this, with often hilarious results. To say it bears little resemblance to the original language is understating it.

      1. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

        Re: I see a market here

        "You could always use an automated translation routine to translate it to another language, then another, then back to English."

        Or, as TFA puts it: " cycling text through a series of machine translations, from one language to another and then back to the original"

  7. Pascal Monett Silver badge

    "he shall ever ever know it"

    Opposite of the original text's meaning, so not very good at keeping that.

    I do know one thing : with text like that, I would very quickly recognize that I am absolutely not interested in reading the rest.

    So yeah, makes you anonymous. It also makes you unknown. Not sure that is what people actually want.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: "he shall ever ever know it"

      So yeah, makes you anonymous. It also makes you unknown. Not sure that is what people actually want.

      Yeah, but when I post AC (for demonstration purposes here) there's usually a good reason. Unfortunately from any reasonable length of prose you'd pick up my style cues, and the formatting of the post. I can see a handful of things in this short post that could give me away. Care to guess?

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: "he shall ever ever know it"

        "Care to guess?"

        1) "Yeah"

        2) Use of parentheses to add an aside.

        3) British English spelling of "handful" - is US spelling "handfull"?

        4) use of "you'd" - not that common.

        5) "prose" is an "educated" word.

        6) "my style cues, and the formatting of the post." - the placing of the comma?

        However - I'm not in the mood to match that to other posts.

        1. Dave 126 Silver badge

          Re: "he shall ever ever know it"

          Many of my posts contain examples of points 1 to 6, as above. I'm not the above AC though!

          1. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

            Re: "he shall ever ever know it"

            "I'm not the above AC"

            And I'm not the above AC either.

        2. Nick Kew
          Pint

          Re: "he shall ever ever know it"

          However - I'm not in the mood to match that to other posts.

          Zigackly. That's for serious investigators in pursuit of a high-value prize. Or else for software tools. But not casual commentards in the virtual pub.

          I'm not the AC in question either. But if anyone here is playing, I did post an earlier comment as AC, also for reasons of making a point. The pint is for the commentard who identifies it.

          1. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

            Re: "he shall ever ever know it"

            Only three of us who weren't the AC? There must have been a lot of people who were.

      2. Michael Thibault

        Re: "he shall ever ever know it"

        My guess is: Pompous Git.

        1. Pompous Git Silver badge

          Re: "he shall ever ever know it"

          "My guess is: Pompous Git."
          What I would have guessed too, except it wasn't so if I had guessed, I would have been cheating.

    2. VinceH

      Re: "he shall ever ever know it"

      "So yeah, makes you anonymous. It also makes you unknown. Not sure that is what people actually want."

      I'd have said "not worth reading" rather than "unknown"

  8. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Imagine the dullest teleconference ...

    Didn't we just find out you can get jailtime for that kind of talk?

  9. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Writing style seems unlikely to personally identify you

    There would have to be some way to narrow it down. I could see it being possible to identify me knowing it was a Reg comment, given that there are a limited pool of people who comment here. Out of the whole internet....no way.

    1. Dave 126 Silver badge

      Re: Writing style seems unlikely to personally identify you

      > Out of the whole internet....no way.

      In reality, other clues - such as your posts' time stamps as regards your likely timezone - could be used to rapidly shrink down the areas of t'web to be examined.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Writing style seems unlikely to personally identify you

        Certain spelling mistakes, certain repeated phrases, added to timestamps and known websites would really really narrow it down.

        There have been a few Anons called out on this site for example, and that is without a computer program checking the statistics for cold hard mathematical probability and certainty.

        Anon, just to see if it works. ;)

        1. Nick Kew

          Re: Writing style seems unlikely to personally identify you

          Certain spelling mistakes, certain repeated phrases, added to timestamps and known websites would really really narrow it down.

          On the contrary, that's a well-known and easy-to-implement distraction. Used it myself in the past when having fun on Usenet (dynamic IP and an open usenet server helped).

      2. Pompous Git Silver badge

        Re: Writing style seems unlikely to personally identify you

        "In reality, other clues - such as your posts' time stamps as regards your likely timezone - could be used to rapidly shrink down the areas of t'web to be examined."
        Or in the Git's case that he needed to get up in the wee hours... to wee! IOW he's just an old fart ;-)

        1. DropBear

          Re: Writing style seems unlikely to personally identify you

          "your posts' time stamps"

          As a counter-point - more than once have I wondered whether employees of online shops ever doubt the fundamental compatibility of the shipping address I gave with the time the order was made at... I know I certainly would.

          1. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

            Re: Writing style seems unlikely to personally identify you

            "I wondered whether employees of online shops ever doubt the fundamental compatibility of the shipping address I gave with the time the order was made"

            Aha - now we know you've never worked shifts.

      3. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        @Dave 126

        In reality, other clues - such as your posts' time stamps as regards your likely timezone

        I posted that last at around 3am local time, so perhaps not as reliable as one might think...

    2. Jason Bloomberg
      Linux

      Re: Writing style seems unlikely to personally identify you

      One fundamental problem, no matter what the confidence level in an identification; that which does not fit will often carry more weight than what does. Much like a suspect fits a crime perfectly, other than their skin colour not matching what witnesses described.

      Open with "I have a doubt" and the suspicion is that the author is not a native English speaker. Using "english" would add to that. Throw in a few "color", "can not", or suggestions of having voted for Trump or Clinton, and the notion the author is British drops quite quickly. A few deliberate misuses of "their", "there", "they're" and doubt quickly creeps in. Switching "that" and "which", increasing or decreasing their use, swapping "they" for "it" for a collective institution, changes things subtly but significantly.

      Just look at the debate on whether Obama wrote his own speech when he said "back of the queue" and not "back of the line".

      Anonymity is used to create plausible deniability and that seems reasonably easy to achieve and increase. I'm mostly a Windows user ->

      1. AceRimmer1980
        Windows

        Re: I'm mostly a Windows user

        Hey, it looks like you're trying to hide your identity. Want some help?

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Writing style seems unlikely to personally identify you

        "A few deliberate misuses [...]"

        It is hard to be consistently wrong. A good analysis would probably detect it as an attempt at obfuscation. Do it too often and it becomes an identifiable style.

        IIRC there was an Inspector Morse plot that revolved round the deliberate? misuse of "s" or "z" in some words in a written note.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Writing style seems unlikely to personally identify you

          Possibly we could use a quick Google search to match a sentence to the most common and bland version of it? Or if everyone used a large generic dictionary. Then it would take away the specific footprint. But still leave the discussed items/times/places as identifiable, but not the prose style.

        2. GrapeBunch

          Re: Writing style seems unlikely to personally identify you

          "IIRC there was an Inspector Morse plot that revolved round the deliberate? misuse of "s" or "z" in some words in a written note."

          Translating that into Laevopudlianese: There was a Perry Mason plot that hinged upon the ignorant misuse of "mimento" for "memento" in a typed letter. The perp immediately confessed to the murder. Today 60 years on, it would be " ... mento? So what? Get your own candy."

    3. Pompous Git Silver badge

      Re: Writing style seems unlikely to personally identify you

      "given that there are a limited pool of people who comment here"
      [pedant alert] "given that there IS a limited pool of people who comment here" [/pedant alert]

      1. nijam Silver badge

        Re: Writing style seems unlikely to personally identify you

        > [pedant alert] "given that there IS a limited pool of people who comment here" [/pedant alert]

        QED

  10. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Analyse THIS! Posting as AC because, well, the article kinda calls for it.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Method?

      Search Register forums for "kinda" and multiple uses of commas, separating individual words. All caps, but light use. Possible jokes, and similar timestamps.

      While this post may be a one off, the temptation to do it again, or the chance you did it in the past is high. Then it's about building up information from that.

      But hacking the actual forums, or getting a court order for your ip/login is much, much easier. So it depends on the target and the effort wanted/needed.

      1. Dave 126 Silver badge

        Re: Method?

        > Search Register forums for "kinda" and multiple uses of commas, separating individual words. All caps, but light use. Possible jokes, and similar timestamps.

        Again, that describes many of *my* posts, but the above AC wasn't me.

        (Sometimes I *x* when I can't be arsed to x)

    2. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

      "Analyse THIS!"

      Bob, is that you?

      1. Anonymous Coward
  11. Dr. G. Freeman

    I have no problems with anonymity.

    No- one believes I'm me

    Introduce my self as "Dr Gordon Freeman. I work with nuclear resonance", and people scoff and say "yeah, right, of course you are..." in a condescending tone.

    1. GrapeBunch

      Introduce my self as "Dr Gordon Freeman. I work with nuclear resonance", and people scoff and say "yeah, right, of course you are..." in a condescending tone.

      I'd be tempted to believe rather that nuclear resonance works with you.

      1. Destroy All Monsters Silver badge

        HIT THEM IN THE FACE WITH A CROWBAR!

  12. This post has been deleted by its author

  13. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    AC because?

    Another reason to stay AC.

    Mine's the invisibility cloak when I can find it.

  14. Pete 2 Silver badge

    Style? We don' need no steeeekin' style!

    You can easily obsfucate your writing style by translating your words into another language, then back again.

    So: from English to Croatian to Italian to English:

    You can easily blur the writing style translate their words into another language and then again.

    And if the result is gibberish (frfljanje - yes, really!) then it doesn't matter. Nobody ever reads this stuff, anyway.

  15. Francis Boyle

    An interesting article

    This was an interesting article. I enjoye. . . Fuck I just can't do this. It's black helicopters for me.

  16. DropBear

    "I am proud. Though I carry my love with me to the tomb, he shall never, never know it."

    Dear Boffins, until you have something that can give you back "I'm too proud too tell him that I love him so I never will", keep working...

  17. Charles 9 Silver badge

    How about just saying everything anonymous in a language designed to not be stylistic, like Newspeak?

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Newspeak?

      You mean Talk Like a Corbyn?

      " a poor player

      That struts and frets his hour upon the stage

      And then is heard no more. It is a tale

      Told by an idiot, full of sound and fury

      Signifying nothing."

      Not the bad grammar. it should be 'who struts...'

  18. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    To truly stay anonymous online, make sure your writing is as dull as the dullest conference call you can imagine...

    Illustration: two young vacuous looking women. Perfect use of stock art.

  19. Hero Protagonist

    The ultimate test

    I'd like to see what the algorithm does with a post by Amanfrommars

    1. Dave 126 Silver badge

      Re: The ultimate test

      I haven't seen him for ages.

      1. Will Godfrey Silver badge
        Happy

        Re: The ultimate test

        Oh, he comes and goes. It's a long way from Mars you know.

  20. katrinab Silver badge

    "Make sure your writing is as dull as the dullest conference call you can imagine"

    So, I will appropriately recaptiualise synergistic schemas to intrinsically pursue transparent technology by appropriately re-architecting cloud-ready testing procedures to leverage progressively benchmark focused products delivering seamlessly matrix value-added sprints with distinctively architectured diverse fungibility while assertively supplying robust meta-services which dynamically synergise intuitive bandwidth.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: "Make sure your writing is as dull as the dullest conference call you can imagine"

      You're hired! Get synergising!

  21. Andy the ex-Brit

    Interesting demonstration

    "As can be seen from the example above, last year's transformation of stands out as odd.

    The researchers' revised approach reads better. This particular sample may only feature only minor variations on the original text, but if it can defy stylometric analysis, it has accomplished its job."

    Was the article run through the tool it describes?

  22. ritey

    just because i'm boring...

    ...doesnt mean my buddy is. especially if she is the bearded lady from the fair east.

  23. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    I'v been posting rubbish for years so it's good to know my posts are truly anonymous.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Facepalm

      Damn, I should've posted that.

  24. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

    Did they really think that introducing a semi-colon in the 2017 version made it less distinctive?

    1. Anonymous Coward
  25. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    AC

    I'm Spartacus.

  26. NonSSL-Login

    Input: out of sight, out of mind

    Translated between languages and back: Blind idiot

    Obfuscation of text is great as long as the output is readable and cannot be reversed by someone wanting to de-cloak you

    1. Will Godfrey Silver badge
      WTF?

      I thought it was:

      Invisible Fool

      Hmmm. This thread is so interesting I've actually made three posts on it.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Invisible Fool

        Isn't that a premonitory song by Genesis about Internet users?

  27. Destroy All Monsters Silver badge
    Gimp

    "Bored!"

    It looks like the animated young lady is explaining her darker fantasies to the professionally disdainful domme. Action soon!

    (... I have got to get my mind out of the gutter.)

  28. TheElder

    You may do this actual test

    I found this a little while ago. I ran the test on myself and it was amazingly accurate.

    See our best guess as to which world English you speak.

    As for improving your writing it is always a good idea to keep the words simpler. Iong $10 words that one can stretch between trees may seem impressive but many people will trip over those words.

    Better writing

  29. rtb61

    Vary Your Style

    There is no logical purpose in writing that people do not want to read. A smarter way is to simply vary your writing style to suit the message.

    1. Charles 9 Silver badge

      Re: Vary Your Style

      But the way you vary the style also becomes a signature. Variances are PART of a signature. IOW, trying to obfuscate your writing may have just the opposite effect.

  30. TheElder
    FAIL

    Update on my Better Writing link

    I have used the Word Counter etc in the past. I tested it again yesterday. I am not impressed. It stated that my test contains plagiarism. Total bullshit. What I posted in the counter not only is not stolen, it is extremely unlikely that anybody else would post something similar. It was a few sentences about my personal educational history at Berkeley including working on fusion power at age 14.

    I have complained that they have a bug, that much is certain. Shall see if they reply.

    Other than that the word counter does work well.

    1. Pompous Git Silver badge

      Re: Update on my Better Writing link

      Yeah, I stand accused of significant plagiarism! WTF?

POST COMMENT House rules

Not a member of The Register? Create a new account here.

  • Enter your comment

  • Add an icon

Anonymous cowards cannot choose their icon

Biting the hand that feeds IT © 1998–2022