Sunday, September 24, 2006

word count

WordCount is a sehr cool website I just found (sorry--I've been playing with online foreign language dictionaries). It describes itself as an "interactive presentation of the 86,800 most frequently used English words," although so far they only go up to 53000 something. It's irresistible to a writer!
Again, quoting the site, "Each word is scaled to reflect its frequency relative to the words that precede and follow it, giving a visual barometer of relevance. The larger the word, the more we use it. The smaller the word, the more uncommon it is."
All sorts of interesting things emerge. For instance, I now know that my name is the 2nd most frequently used female name. You can look up a word to see how popular it is: "feckless," a favorite of mine, is # 35,486. Or you can surf WordCount looking for felicitous word combinations, like "kill creation governments" which are #s 2137-39. "Wife" (566) is more used than "husband" (899); but "man" (142) more than "woman" (393). "Novel" and "toast" are more than 4000 words apart, although I did find the happy combination of "Indian roof novel" and "subjective toast curiosity" nesting together.
It also does a nice swoopy graphic thing when it zeroes in on a word. Can there be a better time-waster for the procrastinating language-lover?


Anonymous jadepark said...

i don't dare click on that link--i know i'll find myself in the vortex of words, too!

9/25/2006 1:42 AM  
Blogger lucette said...

It is kind of addicting--a language drug.

9/28/2006 9:38 AM  
Blogger Jess D'Zerts said...

Hi, Lucette--I was blog-surfing the other day and came upon this post. WordCount hooked me. I invite you to stop by and see what happened next. Jessie

10/16/2006 2:08 PM  

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