Might as well combine these stories :).
It turns out that not only can’t your average teenager tell the difference between Justin Bieber and William Shakespeare, they can’t tell the difference between William Shakespeare and Batman, either.
The Bieber thing is relatively new, and I find it relatively ridiculous. Everybody knows that the only person who could have written a timeless quote like, “And I was like baby, baby, baby oh!” is Edward de Vere.
The Batman thing, however, goes back to a Sporcle quiz that I think a lot of us have seen, since it’s been around since 2012. What’s giving that one some extra Google juice, however, is that the results of the quiz were analyzed by none other than Nate Silver’s site FiveThirtyEight, because apparently they got bored analyzing US political races. If you’ve never heard of them, they’re known for their mad statistical analysis skillz. So it’s interesting that they’d turn their machinery onto something as innocuous as an old Sporcle quiz.
The coolest thing to me is that Sporcle themselves sent me the latter link. I’ve been playing their stuff for years, and consider their site to be something of the grandfather of viral quizzes. I asked whether they accept submissions, so maybe we’ll get to generate some new Shakespeare quizzes of our own?