The New York Times Haikus

What is this, New York Times? A clever April Fools’ ruse? My favorite:

You famously learned

to read and write English by 

reading Nabokov.

Love it.  See all the entries here.

###

Edit: apparently not a joke. From the about page, these haikus are real but generated via a computer algorithm scanning syllable counts of NYT articles:

How does our algorithm work? It periodically checks the New York Times home page for newly published articles. Then it scans each sentence looking for potential haikus by using an electronic dictionary containing syllable counts. We started with a basic rhyming lexicon, but over time we’ve added syllable counts for words like “Rihanna” or “terroir” to keep pace with the broad vocabulary of The Times.

Not every haiku our computer finds is a good one. The algorithm discards some potential poems if they are awkwardly constructed and it does not scan articles covering sensitive topics. Furthermore, the machine has no aesthetic sense. It can’t distinguish between an elegant verse and a plodding one. But, when it does stumble across something beautiful or funny or just a gem of a haiku, human journalists select it and post it on this blog.

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