WordCount

WordCount isn't a new website (it won the 2003 American Institute of Graphic Arts' award for Information Design and the 2005 People's Choice Webby Awards), but it sure is a fun website for those of you who haven't seen it before. WordCount creator Jonathan Harris of Number 27 explains:

WordCount™ is an artistic experiment in the way we use language. It presents the 86,800 most frequently used English words, ranked in order of commonness. 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.

The fun starts when you type in your favorite word, and see the words that are ranked next to it:

Observing closely ranked words tells us a great deal about our culture. For instance, “God” is one word from “began”, two words from “start”, and six words from “war”. Another sequence is "america ensure oil opportunity". Conspiracists unite! As ever, the more one explores, the more is revealed.

Though "Neatorama" isn't in the archives, "neat" currently sits at 4808, with the string" neat magazines burn whisky pond."

Link - via Book of Joe


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I did 'nuance' (no reason), popularity 30236, and this string of words:

atheism - pta - NUANCE - tuber - leese

Whut? Leese? Weird.
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By the time you get to the 100th word, the size difference between the highest-ranked and lowest-ranked words on the screen is imperceptible. But even with it's limits, it's an interesting and addicting way of visualizing our language. It's fun to input companies, weirdly-named celebrities, and other proper nouns to see where they fall. fwiw "Timex" comes in at 22508 and "Rolex" at 44087.
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