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Re: Toto -- mimic function or the real thing (Re: no subject)
Tim May writes:
> At 5:09 PM -0700 9/28/98, Adam Back wrote:
> >Dunno, but that sure looks like authentic Toto doesn't it (and the
> >rest of the long post of which excerpt quoted above). [...] or is
> >rather good at imitating his writing style manually
> Crap. I detected this as ersatz Toto after a couple of paragraphs.
> Metaphors were too strained, or something. It just seemed fake.
It wasn't perfect Toto, but it's the best one we've seen yet, I think.
Writing style appears to be hard to mimic, or at least I find it hard.
Toto I think is harder to mimic than most, his style is very
distinctive, but somehow still hard to mimic.
We have seen high quality John Young mimics, which would pass as the
real thing. But there seems to be something harder about Toto's
I had a go at mimicing Toto for posting to the list (anonymously), but
the output was so obviously not Toto that I scrapped it and deleted
And this is just manual writing style analysis. NSA letter triple
based analysis, one presumes would be much better.
btw. I suspected a couple of the anonymous replies to one of the
spammers / AOLers looked a bit like Tim May writing style. (The one
with lots of ! in them -- perhaps it is that Klaus von Future prime!
likes exclamation marks).
I have been thinking about this problem on and off, as it is a problem
for nyms (especially where the true name has been rather vocal already
to provide lots of samples) and I invite comments on the merits of the
following as an approach to reducing leakage of writing style:
Create a multiple choice sentence constructor (say CGI web page with
pull down menus for subject, verb, adjective etc). Plus text boxes
for less common nouns, names etc.
Apparently during the war soldiers were handed post cards where one
could tick a few boxes ("[ ] I am doing ok / [ ] I blah") for some
Seems the formally restricted choice of adjectives etc would be less
expresive but perhaps go some reasonable way to frustrate writing