What is stylometry?

Stylometry is a powerful tool that helps one figures out who wrote what based on their unique writing style.

Stylometry is a field of study that uses statistical methods and computational tools to analyse and identify patterns in how people write. In simpler terms, stylometry can be understood as a detective tool for words, used to figure out who wrote what.

Finding the author

Authors have been able to write anonymously for centuries, with the belief that their true identity would never be revealed. However, in the past few years, advancements in machine learning methods have increased the effectiveness of identifying different patterns in an individual's writing. Every person has a distinct writing style, similar to a fingerprint. Stylometry analyses a text's word selection, sentence construction, and even punctuation to examine those literary fingerprints to determine the author of a written piece.

One famous example of stylometric analysis is the study of English playwright William Shakespeare's plays. Researchers have used computational tools to analyse the writing style of the bard and compare them to other works from the time period. Through this analysis, they have been able to identify which plays were likely written by Shakespeare and which ones might have been collaborations or even written by someone else entirely.

This kind of analysis was also used to reveal American statesmen James Madison and Alexander Hamilton as the writers of the anonymously published Federalist Papers (also known as The Federalist), as well as link British writer J.K. Rowling to the anonymous author of the book The Cuckoo's Calling. Stylometry can also be used in more serious situations, such as when researchers want to figure out who wrote a particular document or when law enforcement is trying to track down a suspect. By analysing the writing style in different documents, they can look for patterns that might help them identify the author.

Picture Credit : Google 


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