Sentiment analysis – why should you do it?

Days before he bolted for the Soviet Union, MI5 man Kim Philby held a press conference affirming his loyalty to Britain. And he smiled as he did so.

True the smiles were fleeting, but as Malcolm Gladwell covers in Blink, they were enough. Beyond his words his true feelings were revealed. His words were denial, but his subtle smirks revealed him as a traitor

Whereas that analysis of Philby’s 1955 interview required replays and slow motion, judging the sentiment and tone behind the written word is something that is easy thanks to modern technology. But why would you want to do it in the first place?

This series of posts will look at the why, how and when of word and sentiment analysis, how it can improve writing and critiques, and explain some recent trends in writing.