Dr. Suessify the News
Here’s another stake in the ground: reinterpreting content “in the style of” an artist or writer. Let’s take as input some news stories from this past summer. Whose style should we reinterpret them into? Only one of the most famous children’s book writers this side of Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs, of course: Dr. Seuss.
We gathered headlines and bylines from the news, then asked Turkers to rewrite each headline in the style of Dr. Seuss. To prompt them with examples, we listed several Dr. Seuss book titles. Then, we gathered all the results and asked a second set of Turkers to rate how amusing the transformation was, on a 1-7 Likert scale. Ten Turkers rated each headline.
Here, then, are the most amusing headlines and their Dr. Seussifications:
|Median Funniness||Original Headline and Suessified Headline|
|6.5||Russia to launch 520-day mock mission to Mars → Oh, The Places Russia Will Go!|
|5.5||Fisherman’s wife breaks the silence → One Fish Two Fish Sick Fish Who Fish|
|5.5||BP tries again to cap well; protests set to start → BP tries to cap with a hat while protesters start to raise hell about the well|
|5||BP tries again to cap well; protests set to start → As BP tries to stop the oil; Oh My, tempers begin to boil|
|5||Russia to launch 520-day mock mission to Mars → Russky Marsky Tripsky Fakesky|
|4.5||Fisherman’s wife breaks the silence → David’s wife hears a what|
|4.5||Fisherman’s wife breaks the silence → The Trout That Would Not Shout|
|4.5||BP tries again to cap well; protests set to start → BP Gusher Flusher, Grousers to carouse|
|4||Ten World Cup headlines yet to be written → How Many Ounces Will The World Cup Hold?|
|4||Wounded taxi driver ‘watched friend shot in face’ → Bird Shoots Man|
|3||BP tries again to cap well; protests set to start → BP and the Oilbleck|
|3||Ten World Cup headlines yet to be written → The (Cat)Rabbit’s Still in the Hat(Bag)|
|2.5||Russia to launch 520-day mock mission to Mars → I Can’t See Red With No Windows|
|2||BP tries again to cap well; protests set to start → BP Plugs Ears At Protestors|
|2||Russia to launch 520-day mock mission to Mars → The 520 Days of the Mission of Mars|
There is definitely a lot of unfunny content, but some pretty clever stuff in there as well. For the most part, Turkers are successful at recognizing creativity, but less eager to create it. (It took a week or so to get just these suggestions.)
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