A person who uses statistical analysis to study the style and content of text or speech.
Men and women ostensibly write the same language, on the other hand, but according to a recent article in The Boston Globe, they do so in ways that immediately reveal which sex is doing the writing. A team of Israeli scientists, the Globe article reports, punched into a computer some 600 published documents and devised an algorithm that could predict with 80 percent accuracy the sex of the author. ...
When the Israeli stylometricians, as they call themselves, study a text, they scrub it clean of everything that's "topic specific" — in other words, no "gown," no "princess," no "keg," no "bullet-resistant." This is how sophisticated language analysts work these days. They ignore the obvious stuff and concentrate instead on the seemingly unobtrusive little tics that the writer and reader barely notice. The process is a little like identifying Tom Wolfe by ignoring his suits and his spats and concentrating instead on his socks, but it gets results. Seven years ago, for example, Donald Foster, the Vassar English professor and self-styled "forensic linguist," fingered Joe Klein as the author of "Primary Colors" from Klein's use of punctuation and adverbs.
—Charles McGrath, "Sexed Texts," The New York Times, August 10, 2003
One of their findings is that women are far more likely than men to use personal pronouns (“I”, “you”, “she”, etc), whereas men prefer words that identify or determine nouns (“a”, “the”, “that”) or that quantify them (“one”, “two”, “more”). According to Moshe Koppel, one of the authors of the project, this is because women are more comfortable thinking about people and relationships, whereas men prefer thinking about things. But the self-styled “stylometricians”, in creating their gender-identifying algorithm, have been at pains to avoid the obvious.
—Alexander Chancellor, “Sometimes it’s hard to be a woman,” The Guardian, November 8, 2003
An even more effective way of rebutting F.'s dating would be to show that the case can be made for another date on stylometric grounds. After all, statistics can never have a probative value. The basic logic of statistical investigation is to turn skepticism against itself: you cannot prove anything, you can only disprove a hypothesis. Thus, the statistician, or stylometrician, does not claim to have proved something like a date for the Ars Poetica in the period 24-20 B.C.; she simply disproves the probability that any other period of Horace's creative life falls more firmly within her confidence interval.
—Dee Clayman, Gregory Crane, Donald Guthrie, "Clayman, Crane, Guthrie on Keyser on Frischer," Bryn Mawr Classical Review, June 20, 1992
Stylometry (1945) is the science of applying statistical analysis to a text in an effort to reach conclusions about the style of the text in general, or the characteristics of the person who wrote or said the text in particular. A person who practices this curious scholarly pursuit has been called a stylometrist since at least 1953, and this term is still in use. However, the alternative term stylometrician has been gaining ground in the last 10 years, perhaps because it has a more scientific feel to it.