With the rash of writing analysis going around, I found this post particularly insightful in examining the measures used and how they might apply to the ongoing debate of Pauline authorship of the Pastorals and the like.
Carl gives his analysis, and like others, have some up with different styles, depending on the piece which is submitted. I actually submitted two selections from the same paper, written 6 months apart, and came up with two different authors. Anyway, without getting into the debate about the scientific ability of these tests, it is interesting to read Carl’s conclusion:
…..One of the key debates in Pauline studies involves the question of authorship of the letters bearing Paul’s name…a central point in this defence is the issue of stylistic differences.
In other words, scholars arguing against Pauline authorship for the letters just mentioned will say (and I’m oversimplifying things just a bit): ‘the style of writing between these letters and the “known Pauline letters” is just too different to say that they come from the same hand. The grammar, the syntax, the word choice, the length of sentences, the vocabulary; all of it, in the “disputed Paulines” just doesn’t fit with what we find in the “authentic Paulines”.’ Oh, you mean the kinds of things that the Flesch and Flesch-Kinkaid scales would measure? You mean the sorts of measurements used that told me seven different pieces of my own writing reflect the styles of seven different authors?
Huh. Well now…