Thursday, 13 October 2011

FAILBlog #fail

    My life is complete. A piece of software I wrote for the Oxford Words Blog, an online Shakespearean vocabulary checker, has been featured on FAILBlog.
    Pretty funny, the FAILBlog submitter has picked up on the fact that if you put the word 'balls' into the form repeated more than 20 times it tells you your English is 100% Shakespearean. Which though undeniably entertaining is entirely true, since 'balls' was a word used by the Bard.
    Unfortunately though it is not a fail, unless you didn't read the page and have misunderstood the purpose of the script. It is not there to deliver a verdict on the quality of writing, merely to correlate the vocabulary with that of the Bard. Which it has done, exactly as it should.
    I can't help feeling FAILBlog have failed though so, I posted the following comment:

First of all, thank you FAILBlog for featuring this. It has always been an ambition of mine to have a piece of my software featured on your site, and now I have achieved that goal.
I wrote the script featured in the screenshot above, you can find it at
At first sight it does look like a fail, but as it says on the page this is not a script for judging the quality of writing, it is simply a vocabulary correlation checker that compares the vocabulary entered with that of the Bard and delivers a percentage result. So since the Bard did use ‘balls’, it is exactly right in saying the text is 100% Shakespearean in vocabulary, because it is.
But that does not make the odd-looking result any less entertaining, so please feel free to have a laugh at our expense.
     I guess the guys at FAILBlog don't appreciate it when they get something wrong and the originator makes a comment about it, because their moderators have chosen not to publish my comment.
Edit - several hours after I posted this piece and hours after publishing a load of other comments the FAILBlog people published my comment. Well done! Did I stumble on an editorial approval policy?:)