Mar 31 2011 12:00am

For The Love Of . . . Speaking The Same Language?

Have you ever wondered just how in sync you—or the hero and heroine of the book you're reading—are in terms of communication?

Now here's a way to find out: The University of Texas Austin has an online sync test where you can enter a conversation, or an email or IM, into a system to analyze just how well you match up. We thought it'd be fun to enter dialogue from a book, and we've picked one of the snappiest dialogue authors around, Jennifer Crusie, to test the waters. This is from Welcome To Temptation, about 100 pages in, where Sophie Dempsey and Phineas Tucker are clearly entangled, but not yet enmeshed:

“Why?“ Phin said. ”You didn't do anything.”

Sophie smiled dreamily up at the stars. “I like you after all. You're consistent. You're competent. You know, you don't get stars like this in Cincinnati.”

“There's a lot of stuff you don't get in Cincinnati,” Phin said. “In fact, you just got some.”

“I could tell Br—” Sophie began. “Oh, no.” She sat up, cold with guilt, sandbagged by reality once again.

Phin sighed. “What now?”

“I just cheated on my significant other. I didn't even think about him, I just invited you right on in and cheated on him. I'm scum.”

Sophie and Phin got a Language Style Matching (LSM) score of 0.74; according to the site, “Compared to other general writing samples that we have analyzed, your LSM score is within the average range. To give you an idea, most LSM scores for general writing samples range between .60 and .90, with the average being around .78. The more the authors of the two samples are thinking in similar ways, the higher the LSM.”

What score does your favorite hero and heroine get?

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1 comment
K.M. Jackson
1. kwanawrites
Oh this looks fun but dangerous in the obsessive writers hands. Yeah, I'm talking to myself.
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