Does “Wordcount” tell us something?

I was pondering just how much information "wordcount" could tell us about our current state of things.  That is, what the ranks of opposite words, and their use frequency, can tell us about our society.  For instance the words love and hate.  Does the fact that love has a rank of 384, and hate has a rank of 3107, tell us that we are more loving, or does it tell us that more people who write are practicing the romantic side of this art.  Does the fact that war is ranked 304 and peace is ranked 1155 tell us that more people are interested in war, or that this makes sense, seeing as how the world is constantly at war.  Man is ranked 142, and woman is ranked 393, does this tell us that man is more important than woman?  Or perhaps that man is more corrupt and therefore has more things written about him.  When you read the section "about wordcount"  the creator claims that much can be learned about our culture from this experimental project.  I feel that by looking at the rank of certain words, and their opposites, that a great deal can be uncovered about our society.  Girl is ranked 616 and boy is ranked 735, the frequency is reversed as maturity sets in, and the real workings of the world come into play, or just a strange, unimportant, and laughable point? 

One thought on “Does “Wordcount” tell us something?”

  1. I think some of the word sequences that come up in WordCount are absolutely uncanny. The author of the site is keeping track of some of the most interesting, most revealing supposedly accidental juxtapositions of words at http://www.number27.org/projects/wordcount/conspiracy.html.

    Even more revealing are what words users ask WordCount to search for. Jonathan Harris is keeping track of these queries, using the same machine that drives WordCount. Check out QueryCount to see the most frequently searched-for terms in WordCount.

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