Language analysis is a rapidly developing field and there are some interesting startups working on products that help you write better.
Take Toneapi, for example. This product from Northern Irish firm Adoreboard is a Web-based app that analyzes (and potentially improves) the emotional impact of your writing.
Paste in some text, and it will offer a detailed visualization of your writing.
From there, you can optimize your text to improve an overall ‘content score.’ Here’s a GIF supplied by Toneapi that shows how Volkswagen could have improved its initial statement following last year’s emissions scandal.
“Customer reaction to the crisis on an emotional level was that trust had been broken,” says Toneapi. “The brand’s response should have been to break with corporate convention and provide a more emotional reaction.
“Analysis of (Volkswagen CEO at the time) Dr Winterkorn’s first statement when (the) crisis broke contained limited emotions (and) effectively asked for more time to stay in the job as he announced an investigation into how millions of buyers were cheated. But it was only when the full scale of global reaction began to impact that he decided to quit and by that stage the company’s reputation – and his standing – suffered unimaginable damage.”
Testing Toneapi, I noticed that while it often found good alternative words for those I’d initially chosen, it doesn’t necessarily choose the version of a word that makes grammatical sense. For example, ‘attractively’ might be replaced by ‘impressive,’ leaving me to edit the grammar myself.
Toneapi’s CTO Dr. Fergal Monaghan tells me that while the company is focused on tone in writing, it will integrate with third-party tools for things like grammar correction in the future.
“Toneapi is able to analyze over 20 specific emotions providing a more granular understanding of tone,” says Toneapi’s Christopher Johnston. “This is important as it can quickly pinpoint why one piece of content is low in trust or the email you’ve just written has high intensity emotions like rage. Depending on the ultimate goal, it provides a natural path to taking an action to improve content.”