Write like Hemingway, even if Hemingway sometimes did not

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By Ashley Lisenby

Digital Editor

The Hemingway App, created by brothers Adam Long, 25, and Ben Long, 22, aims to help writers create clear and bold work.

Two of Hemingway's own writing aspirations.

Discoveries made at Hemingway's Cuban estate revealed he wrote two notes to himself: "You can phrase things clearer and better," and "You can remove words which are unnecessary and tighten up your prose."

After a writer has entered text in to the app and pressed edit, a colorful array of markings may appear.

The app is designed to detect readability, difficult sentences, adverbs, overly complex words and passive voice.

After entering a few paragraphs of Hemingway's into the app, New Yorker writer Ian Crouch discovered that Hemingway does not quite measure up to, well, Hemingway—his sentences sometimes ranking "hard to read" and "very hard to read."

Even though the app launched in September 2013, it is still creating buzz online. The New Yorker wrote about the free app in February and editor and writer Maria Popova tweeted about the app Wednesday morning.

If you are more interested in bold Facebook statuses rather than bold prose, however, you may want to try the Ernest Hemingway Foundation's "Hemingway Hijacker" instead.

Q: Should clarity in one's writing ever be sacrificed for style and personality? Let me know what you think in the comment section below.

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Reader Comments

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D. A. hosek from Oak Park  

Posted: April 14th, 2014 10:54 AM

The Hemingway app is a superficial evaluation of prose which doesn't even consider if the words make sense or are even real. It's possible to do a good computer evaluation of a text, but this isn't it.

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