As inventions go, it's hard to top the wheel, the light bulb or even sliced bread. But it's not an overstatement to say that a computer whiz in Frankfurt, Germany, may have topped them all with the greatest, most stupendous human achievement of all time -- a B.S. detector.
At least if the dang thing works.
Bernd Wurm is a 43-year-old computer science expert who has created a device called the “BlaBlaMeter” that detects excessively flowery and jargony phrases in a given piece and rates the total amount of B.S.
Wurm created this -- perhaps, the single most-important invention of our time -- earlier this year because he was fed up with the “blown up speech” often used in advertisements and other promotional materials.
The detector works like this: Paste the text of potential B.S. into the screen and press the button. The website will then analyze the words and rate them for B.S. -- the closer to zero, the better. Scores around one are considered full of B.S., but they can go much higher.
"Technically, some language patterns collect 'bullshit points," he explained to HuffPost Weird News. "The result is then divided by the number of the words. This means for some occasions that the index can be higher than one, and our database tells us even higher than 5 in very very rare cases."
Additionally, the B.S. detector scans for excessively long words, which Wurm describes as "bad words that you use whenever you want to impress someone else" he told TheLocal.de.
So does it work?
That's a matter of perspective. The texts for both President Obama's speech about the debt ceiling and John Boehner's response ranked very low in B.S.: Obama earned a .1 rating while Boehner scored a .2.
Meanwhile, a press release about Miracle Whip's new offer to contribute $25,000 towards a wedding or a divorce to couples who can't agree on the condiment came in .24, with this comment: "Your text shows some indications of 'bullshit'-English, but is still within an acceptable range."
Since some people might assume HuffPost Weird News stories are, well, B.S., it's only fair to put ourselves to the test.
For instance, a story written by this reporter about an artist who has created gay pin-up pictures of famous superheroes earns a .12 rating because there are "only a few indications of bullshit."
Meanwhile, Lee Speigel's story, "UFOs Exist ... At Least On Google Earth, If You're Gullible" ranks in at .09 with "no or marginal indications of bullshit English."
However, Ben Muessig gets a .2 mark for his story, "Rat Catcher's Day: Exterminators Celebrated On July 22 Holiday," which means there is some "bullshit," but it's still within acceptable guidelines.
HuffPost Weird News Senior Editor Buck Wolf was pleased to discover that the stories on the site have relatively little B.S., but jokes, "that just shows how inaccurate the technology really is."
Wurm insists he doesn’t intend to mock people's writing, but hopes the "BlaBlaMeter" will allow writers to pre-check their stories for B.S. before publication.
"Surely there are many writers who do an excellent job and will not need this tool," he said. "But there is no harm checking their own writing from time to time. Even I use this tool occasionally."
Oh, in case you were wondering, this story ranks a .15, which means it has "only a few indications" of B.S.