CLOSE
istock/thinkstock
istock/thinkstock

14 Hilarious Automatic Text and Tweet Generators

istock/thinkstock
istock/thinkstock

We now have the processing power, and mountains of language data, to automate all kinds of useful language tasks, from translation to reading messy handwriting. These automatic text generators may not be, strictly speaking, useful, but usefulness was never what we really loved about language anyway.

1. FavThingsBot(@FavThingsBot)

Information about rhymes and stress patterns are used by Mark Sample (@samplereality) to make the mesmerizing @FavThingsBot, which constantly finds new verses and choruses for the classic Sound of Music song “My Favorite Things.” These go way beyond raindrops on roses and whiskers on kittens.

2. Google Poetics (@GooglePoetics)

This collection of found poems that emerge from the autocompletion of search terms on Google offers a funny, and sometimes sad view of humanity and the things we seek. Curated by Sampsa Nuotio (@SampsaNuotio).

3. Pentametron (@pentametron)

This bot, created by Ranjit Bhatnagar (@ranjit), mines tweets for stress patterns and rhymes in order to make couplets in iambic pentameter. The results, drawn from the bottomless bucket of Twitter activity, are consistently amazing. Read them in pairs.

4. Anagramatron (@anagramatron)

This clever bot by Colin Rothfels (@cmyr) finds pairs of tweets that are anagrams of each other (they contain the same letters arranged in different orders). Guys, you have no idea how many sentences are anagrams of each other.

5. Haiku9000(@HAIKU9000)

Another bot by Rothfels builds haikus out of three unrelated tweets.

6. Pangramtweets (@pangramtweets)

A pangram is a sentence, such as, “The quick brown fox jumps over the lazy dog,” that contains all the letters of the alphabet. Jesse Sheidlower’s (@jessesheidlower) bot finds natural pangrams in the Twitter wild.

7. Times Haiku (http://haiku.nytimes.com/)

The New York Times has its own haiku generator, built by Jacob Harris (@harrisj), that finds haikus in the connected text of its articles. Topical and sublime.

8. RealHumanPraise (@RealHumanPraise)

In response to a report that Fox News had staffers set up fake accounts to praise the network in online comment sections, Rob Dubbin (@robdubbin), a writer at The Colbert Report, created this bot that automatically creates reviews of Fox programming by substituting names of Fox anchors and shows into movie reviews from RottenTomatoes.com. It’s generated over 180,000 tweets since last November, and still hasn’t stopped being funny.

9. I am the x of y (@x_of_y)

Alexander Furnas (@zfurnas) created this bot that randomly pairs famous names with present participles to create the perfect absurd boasts for your resume.

10. snowclone a minute (@snowcloneminute)

A snowclone is a type of hackneyed phrase in which some of the pieces can be swapped out, but the template remains the same. It was named “snowclone” in honor of one of the most well known such phrases, “If Eskimos have N words for snow, surely X have Y words for Z.” This bot created by Bradley Momberger (@air_hadoken) tweets out an original snowclone phrase every two minutes by randomly combining the templates at snowclones.org with the word database at wordnik.com. They really highlight the staleness of these template phrases. Here are a few recent gems.

11. Metaphor a minute (@metaphorminute)

Darius Kazemi’s (@tinysubversions) metaphor generator substitutes random words into a template to produce metaphors that hover just on the edge of somehow maybe making sense.

12. AmIRite? (@amiritebot)

Kazemi also created this bot that purposefully makes terrible “amirite” rhyme jokes about trending topics on Twitter.

13. Online dating ipsum

Lauren Hallden’s (@phillylauren) generator creates filler text out of online dating profiles “because most profiles are word soup anyway.” You can generate in “typical inane jabber” mode or “with a side of crazy sauce.” This guy I conjured up in typical inane jabber mode is pretty realistic:

Working at a coffee shop only looking for something casual coffee going to the gym. Ask me anything foodie shoot me a message passionate about joking around, working on my body and my mind training for the marathon foodie chilling at a bar with friends bacon. Quizzo Kurosawa Vampire Weekend strong and confident if you like my profile my friends tell me they don't get why I'm single.

Sadly, the same holds for side of crazy mode too:

Someone to provide for you proper grammar I love the smell of I despise. Ask your mother with morals MFA shotgunning beers I'm a nice guy, my beard performance art other shenanigans skydiving for real though. Snapchat I'm too lazy to keep typing I'm a nice guy if you like crossfit nubile.

14. The Idiomatic

This automatic proverb generator mashes up timeworn bits of wisdom and gives them new, intriguing life.

“The best things in life spoil the broth.”
“A rolling stone is your oyster.”
“When the cat’s away the mice come in small packages.”

And remember (as grandma always said):

“The road to hell is where the heart is.”

nextArticle.image_alt|e
iStock
arrow
Big Questions
Where Should You Place the Apostrophe in President's Day?
iStock
iStock

Happy Presidents’ Day! Or is it President’s Day? Or Presidents Day? What you call the national holiday depends on where you are, who you’re honoring, and how you think we’re celebrating.

Saying "President’s Day" infers that the day belongs to a singular president, such as George Washington or Abraham Lincoln, whose birthdays are the basis for the holiday. On the other hand, referring to it as "Presidents’ Day" means that the day belongs to all of the presidents—that it’s their day collectively. Finally, calling the day "Presidents Day"—plural with no apostrophe—would indicate that we’re honoring all POTUSes past and present (yes, even Andrew Johnson), but that no one president actually owns the day.

You would think that in the nearly 140 years since "Washington’s Birthday" was declared a holiday in 1879, someone would have officially declared a way to spell the day. But in fact, even the White House itself hasn’t chosen a single variation for its style guide. They spelled it “President’s Day” here and “Presidents’ Day” here.


Wikimedia Commons // Public Domain

Maybe that indecision comes from the fact that Presidents Day isn’t even a federal holiday. The federal holiday is technically still called “Washington’s Birthday,” and states can choose to call it whatever they want. Some states, like Iowa, don’t officially acknowledge the day at all. And the location of the punctuation mark is a moot point when individual states choose to call it something else entirely, like “George Washington’s Birthday and Daisy Gatson Bates Day” in Arkansas, or “Birthdays of George Washington/Thomas Jefferson” in Alabama. (Alabama loves to split birthday celebrations, by the way; the third Monday in January celebrates both Martin Luther King, Jr., and Robert E. Lee.)

You can look to official grammar sources to declare the right way, but even they don’t agree. The AP Stylebook prefers “Presidents Day,” while Chicago Style uses “Presidents’ Day.”

The bottom line: There’s no rhyme or reason to any of it. Go with what feels right. And even then, if you’re in one of those states that has chosen to spell it “President’s Day”—Washington, for example—and you use one of the grammar book stylings instead, you’re still technically wrong.

Have you got a Big Question you'd like us to answer? If so, let us know by emailing us at bigquestions@mentalfloss.com.

arrow
language
Here's the Right Way to Pronounce Kitchenware Brand Le Creuset

If you were never quite sure how to pronounce the name of beloved French kitchenware brand Le Creuset, don't fret: For the longest time, southern chef, author, and PBS personality Vivian Howard wasn't sure either.

In this video from Le Creuset, shared by Food & Wine, Howard prepares to sear some meat in her bright orange Le Creuset pot and explains, "For the longest time I had such a crush on them but I could never verbalize it because I didn’t know how to say it and I was so afraid of sounding like a big old redneck." Listen closely as she demonstrates the official, Le Creuset-endorsed pronunciation at 0:51.

Le Creuset is known for its colorful, cast-iron cookware, which is revered by pro chefs and home cooks everywhere. The company first introduced their durable pots to the world in 1925. Especially popular are their Dutch ovens, which are thick cast-iron pots that have been around since the 18th century and are used for slow-cooking dishes like roasts, stews, and casseroles.

[h/t Food & Wine]

SECTIONS

arrow
LIVE SMARTER
More from mental floss studios