Tuesday, August 03, 2004

If We Could Only Elect One Beer

After an election somebody is out of work. When we met over lunch, Brabender realized that these all-or-nothing stakes would offer a vivid way to illustrate the difference between consumer and political ad campaigns. "Can you imagine if there was going to be a vote in November and there would only be one light beer?" he mused, seeming to relish the prospect. We considered how the conventions of negative campaigning might apply. ("There they go again. Flip-flopping Miller Lite says it's 'less filling' and that it 'tastes great.' So which one is it? We're Bud Light, and we approved this message.")
From, Joshua Green, "Dumb and Dumberer: Why are campaign commercials so bad?"
The Atlantic Monthly: July/August 2004 http://www.theatlantic.com/doc/200407/green.

Word Count: Word Use as Art


Here's how they describe themselves:
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 commonality. 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 interface is kind of cool to boot. In addition to viewing a word's ranking, you can also see words in the ranking neighborhood. So diplomacy (10434) sits, appropriately enough, next to acknowledgement (10435). But alas, perhaps because of diplomacy failures, terror comes in for more frequent use at (5292), and is separated from damaging (5295) by only brussels and brighton (5293 and 4).

The is the number 1 most frequently used word; Conquistador is number 86,800

All the rest are somewhere in between; where's your favorite word?