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No difference between Charles Dickens and the world’s worst writer
Posted: 29 June 2013 12:02 AM   [ Ignore ]
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One is feted the world over as a titan of English literature; the other is ridiculed as a byword for clunky, artless fiction.

But can anyone tell the difference?

A new study has found that people really are none the wiser about whether they’re reading a Charles Dickens masterpiece or one of the works of Edward Bulwer-Lytton, billed as ‘the worst writer in history’.

In a university experiment, more than 9,000 people worldwide were presented with a dozen passages from the novels of the two Victorian authors.

Then they were asked to identify which was the soaring prose of Dickens and which were penned by his unfortunate contemporary.

Startlingly, the average score was a meagre 5.78, meaning that only 48 per cent of answers were correct and respondents would have done better by simply tossing a coin.

To eliminate any suggestion of snobbishness, the researchers also isolated the responses of those at prestigious universities, including Oxford, Cambridge, Harvard and Yale.

However, even among the educational elite, the success rate rose only to 50 per cent.

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2297869/Charles-Dickens-worlds-worst-writer-Blind-reading-test-48-tell-difference-literature-great-ridiculed-novelist.html

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Posted: 01 July 2013 05:29 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 1 ]
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Is there a link to the test? Let’s see if we can tell the difference smile

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Posted: 27 September 2013 12:29 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 2 ]
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Peter - 01 July 2013 05:29 AM

Is there a link to the test? Let’s see if we can tell the difference smile

Here: http://reverent.org/bulwer-dickens.html

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Posted: 12 October 2013 08:58 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 3 ]
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Well, I managed 58%.  Not too bad I guess.

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Posted: 14 October 2013 01:57 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 4 ]
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I got a 58% as well. Not too shabby. smile

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Posted: 29 October 2013 07:31 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 5 ]
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gray - 12 October 2013 08:58 PM

Well, I managed 58%.  Not too bad I guess.

If the questions had ten different choices this indeed could look like something. However with just two possible answers to each question simple random guessing gives 50%.

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Posted: 04 January 2014 07:26 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 6 ]
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With great shame I must admit that I scored an abysmal 25% for said quiz.

However I then repeated the experiment by flipping a coin for every answer and received a lovely, average 50% result.
Clearly a one-cent coin is more erudite than me. Perhaps I should blackmail it into attending my literature test for me.

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Posted: 06 January 2014 08:59 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 7 ]
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I got 33%. So much for being a university graduate.

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Posted: 10 January 2014 12:31 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 8 ]
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I can do so much worse. If I *wanted*

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Posted: 19 February 2014 10:40 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 9 ]
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Interestingly Dickens and Bulwer have almost the same average reader ratings

http://ecclesiastes911.net/famous_writers_just_have_many_readers/

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Posted: 09 March 2014 10:05 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 10 ]
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Charles Dickens has the same average reader ratings as the worst writer in the history of letters

http://www.significancemagazine.org/details/webexclusive/5923581/Famous-writers-just-have-more-readers.html

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