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University students asked to tell between Dickens and the worst writer in history scored a 48%

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posted on May, 7 2016 @ 08:47 PM
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originally posted by: Phage
a reply to: vernichter
Quite aware of hyperbole. It is seen often on ATS.


I don't see the statistics showing that Edward Bulwer-Lytton is "widely considered 'the worst writer in history', I see a couple of references to critiques. Nor do I deny that Dickens' standing is greater than that of Bulwer-Lytton.

It does have some. There is only one wretched writing contest and it is named after Bulwer. No other writer has such contest named in his honor.

If you do know that Dickens and Bulwer have radically different literary standings why do you jump upon a metaphor used in the article?

Is the discovery reported in the Journal of Quantitative linguistics only important if Bulwer is so so bad that absolutely nobody is worse?




posted on May, 7 2016 @ 08:49 PM
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originally posted by: DOCHOLIDAZE1
a reply to: vernichter

i wonder what would of happed if they questioned 9000 literature students (reading writing ect) as opposed to random students. I know tech/science students are not likely to be reading dickens in their free time, more like getting their gamer score up

Wait . I could tell . And I am trying to complete fallout 4 for the second time.
Of course my student days have long been over...



posted on May, 7 2016 @ 08:52 PM
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a reply to: vernichter

Dickens is horrible



posted on May, 7 2016 @ 08:59 PM
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originally posted by: KEACHI
a reply to: vernichter

Dickens is horrible


He isn't horrible although some of his stories are. I liked Oliver Twist and A Tale of Two Cities.



posted on May, 7 2016 @ 10:01 PM
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11/12.



posted on May, 7 2016 @ 10:03 PM
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a reply to: Phage

Yes, if it's bad enough.

Try the last paragraph of The Turn of the Screw . Ruins the whole story.



posted on May, 7 2016 @ 11:23 PM
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originally posted by: jellyrev
How does someone become known as the worst writer in history? A lot of people are poor writers.

There even is a Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Bulwer-Lytton:

www.annatambour.net...



posted on May, 8 2016 @ 08:53 AM
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a reply to: jellyrev


How does someone become known as the worst writer in history?

You gain a large popular readership during the absolute peak of the novel both as a literary form and as popular entertainment.

Bulwer-Lytton shared his era with Dickens, Thackeray, Trollope and (slightly later) George Eliot. Wilkie Collins and Robert Louis Stevenson were second-tier.

That was in England, which also hosted the American Henry James. In America there was Mark Twain. In Russia, Tolstoy. Dostoevsky had been and gone already. In France, more great names than I can recall.

And then, dear old Ed, darkling and storming all over the place.

It's actually not very hard to tell his writing from Dickens's, if you know what good writing is. Dickens may be sentimental, circumlocutive, awkwardin his rhythms (to the modern ear) and sometimes hyperbolic, but however blatant his devices he never tells the reader what to think or feel. He presents the scene in vivid, pertinent and loaded phrases and trusts in his skill as a writer to make you think and feel as he would have you.

Using that test, do the quiz and see if you don't do better than random chance.


edit on 8/5/16 by Astyanax because: I hadn't finished!



posted on May, 8 2016 @ 09:50 AM
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edit on 8-5-2016 by ketsuko because: (no reason given)



posted on May, 8 2016 @ 10:49 AM
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You can very easily pick his best lines and only include those, this quiz is meaningless garbage.



posted on May, 8 2016 @ 10:54 AM
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originally posted by: Astyanax
Using that test, do the quiz and see if you don't do better than random chance.


I used random chance and scored 33%.



posted on May, 8 2016 @ 12:58 PM
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originally posted by: Astyanax
And then, dear old Ed, darkling and storming all over the place.

But this does not explain what happened.


originally posted by: AstyanaxIt's actually not very hard to tell his writing from Dickens's, if you know what good writing is. Dickens may be sentimental, circumlocutive, awkwardin his rhythms (to the modern ear) and sometimes hyperbolic, but however blatant his devices he never tells the reader what to think or feel.

There is no difference between the two writers in this. What may actually happen is that you disagree with Bulwer's opinions and agree with Dickens'.



posted on May, 8 2016 @ 10:35 PM
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a reply to: vernichter


This does not explain what happened.

Of course it does. B-W was a bad popular writer in an era abounding with great popular writers (and great critics, such as Carlyle, whose names have come down to us today). By comparison with his towering contemporaries, B-W was a pygmy indeed.


There is no difference between the two writers in this. What may actually happen is that you disagree with Bulwer's opinions and agree with Dickens'.

Charles Dickens is very far from being one of my favourite writers. I greatly prefer Eliot or Trollope.

You may be unable to perceive the difference to which I allude, but it is there all the same.


edit on 8/5/16 by Astyanax because: TMI



posted on May, 9 2016 @ 05:38 AM
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originally posted by: Phage



Are the famous writers better than the unknown ones, or they merely have more readers?

Is the quality of a story determined by a single paragraph?


many more then just one paragraph if you'd checked the quiz itself reverent.org... and the quiz is not about the quality of a story, it is just about prose as it says on the quiz you didnt look at before commenting about, which can be determined from a handful of paragraphs.



posted on May, 9 2016 @ 05:41 AM
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originally posted by: Phage
a reply to: vernichter
Quite aware of hyperbole. It is seen often on ATS.


i like how you said that like all your life experience comes from ats,



posted on May, 10 2016 @ 12:40 AM
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originally posted by: OccamsRazor04
You can very easily pick his best lines and only include those, this quiz is meaningless garbage.

Of course, its rigged. Can't be otherwise if you couldn't tell the difference. But how will you explain the related experiment where people preferred a music record to itself?



posted on May, 10 2016 @ 10:38 PM
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a reply to: OccamsRazor04


I used random chance and scored 33%

Which you, as an intelligent fellow who understands statistics, will recognize as a meaningless result.

If you had applied your critical faculties diligently, given it your best shot etc, your result would have meant something.

By the way, it's substantial paragraphs that are given in the test, not 'lines'. Are you sure you took it, and aren't just telling stories?



posted on May, 11 2016 @ 01:23 AM
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Well if it is a dark and stormy night in a novel, should we not be told that??




posted on May, 12 2016 @ 10:26 AM
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a reply to: Astyanax


It was a dark night, though the full moon rose as I left the enclosed lands, and passed out upon the marshes. Beyond their dark line there was a ribbon of clear sky, hardly broad enough to hold the red large moon. In a few minutes she had ascended out of that clear field, in among the piled mountains of cloud. There was a melancholy wind, and the marshes were very dismal. A stranger would have found them insupportable, and even to me they were so oppressive that I hesitated, half inclined to go back. But, I knew them well, and could have found my way on a far darker night, and had no excuse for returning, being there. So, having come there against my inclination, I went on against it.


7 sentences.


I was so filled with the play, and with the past - for it was, in a manner, like a shining transparency, through which I saw my earlier life moving along - that I don't know when the figure of a handsome well-formed young man dressed with a tasteful easy negligence which I have reason to remember very well, became a real presence to me. But I recollect being conscious of his company without having noticed his coming in - and my still sitting, musing, over the coffee-room fire.


2 sentences

It is not substantial portions of anything. It's several lines. There is no context or anything, and it's very possible to choose the very best lines for the quiz. What controls were used to make sure we have a fair representation of the authors' works?



posted on May, 12 2016 @ 01:06 PM
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a reply to: OccamsRazor04

There are twelve questions. Each is a complete paragraph. A good couple of pages. And the ones from Dickens, at any rate, are not particularly outstanding. They are sui generis. I'm sure the other guy's lines are equally representative.

Have you read of these gents, by the way? Coincidentally I'm in the middle of Dickens's American Notes right now. He gets a lot of mileage out of the pigs snufflng about Broadway.



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