How Computers Revealed That J.K. Rowling Was Robert Galbraith


By Dianna Dilworth Comment

cuckoo304After The Sunday Times received a tip that debut author Robert Galbraith could really have been J.K. Rowling in disguise, the paper did a test.

They hired forensic linguistics expert Patrick Juola to analyze the text of The Cuckoo’s Calling using technology in order to identify the nuances of the writer’s style and see if in fact, Rowling could have been the author.

Smithsonian Magazine has more: “One of Juola’s tests examined sequences of adjacent words, while another zoomed in on sequences of characters; a third test tallied the most common words, while a fourth examined the author’s preference for long or short words. Juola wound up with a linguistic fingerprint—hard data on the author’s stylistic quirks.”

Juola confirmed the tip in about half an hour, and when the newspaper confronted Rowling with the assertion, she admitted it.