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Which words do you own?–Grasshopper Ramblings April 6, 2007

Posted by caveblogem in Blogs and Blogging, Other, statistical analysis, tagging, vocabulary.

[Note: This is part of a continuing series on the actual vocabulary in use in the blogosphere.  Posts on this subject started here and will continue on a weekly basis.]

With the latest blog in this series, Grasshopper Ramblings, I think we may be finally approaching some sort of limit.  Grasshopper added 562 words to the database, which now contains almost seventeen thousand distinct words from the eleven blogs sampled.  That doesn’t seem like a lot, compared to some of those I sampled recently, but consider this:  Only Grashopper Ramblings used the 562 words in this list.  As Mr. Spock might say, the odds are astronomical.

Which words?  The additions that she he used most frequently are in this cloud, below (click to enlarge). 


I have begun to think of these vocabulary clouds not as blogger fingerprints but as a new form of poetry or verse, for which I have yet to come up with a name.  Indulge me. 

You know how in ragas artists limit themselves to expression within the bounds of just a few notes?  Emotions are expressed through the way the strings are plucked, how they are inflected.  Or think of rap music, how it limits the male vocalist (usually) to a small range of tones, and syllabic stresses become very important to meaning.  This is like that, sort of.  Now read the cloud above aloud, varying both volume and pitch according to the font size.  There is a special prize for anyone who can get past the phrase “deathly dinosaur dissections dumpster” without cracking up.  Make sure you have a witness.

Better yet, construct an opera from the Venn diagram below.  Words in the left-hand bubble are to be sung only by Grasshopper Ramblings, but they must be varied in pitch and volume according to their font size.  Feel free to pull in words from the middle bubble to construct her his solos.  Words on the right must be used only by other cast members, Stiletto Girl, Moon Topples, Neil Gaiman, Raincoaster, etc.  But they may use words from the center as well. 


What would be a good title?  What would the story be about?  Where would it take place?  What would your opera look like, gentle reader? 


1. zorak163 - April 6, 2007

Thanks for selecting my blog – your results are both interesting and quite funny. I will be posting them on my blog. One small thing… I’m a girl – not to worry, though, it happens all of the time.

Thanks again!

2. caveblogem - April 6, 2007


My dog told me that zorak163 was a woman’s name, and I just wouldn’t listen. Terribly sorry about that!

3. Moon Topples - April 6, 2007

Cavey: Nice try, but I’m not gonna write you a whole opera for free.

I have no idea why these things are so intriguing to me. I thought this would cease once you added my words to the pile. I was mistaken.

4. silverneurotic - April 7, 2007

Happy Easter!

5. kuipercliff - April 7, 2007

Can I be in the Frog Chorus?

6. mags - April 7, 2007

Hello, I find this to be very interesting, and would like it if you could do this on my blog.

7. caveblogem - April 9, 2007

Moon Topples, it seems implicit in your comment that you will write some portion of it for free, though. Perhaps you could do the frog chorus thing mentioned by kuipercliff, since I have no idea what that is.

kuipercliff, I thought to myself for a moment that this is what comes from writing about things like Opera, about which I know nothing. But then, if I stuck to the subjects I know, this would be a pretty empty blog. What, pray tell, is a frog chorus?

silverneurotic, Happy belated Easter to you, too.

mags, thanks for your interest. I’d be happy to put you in the queue if you are willing to link to the post (so that others can hear about it). There’s one more ahead of you, so it would be about a week. Let me know.

8. mags - April 9, 2007

Hi! I just saw your comment over at my place and thought I’d stop by…yes-I would definately link to the post for sure! What do I have to do to help you out with this?

If you’d like, drop me an email. This is exciting!


9. kuipercliff - April 9, 2007

A ‘frog chorus’ is the beautiful, natural ensemble piece to be heard in amphibian-rich waterholes across the globe. My singing voice is somewhat worse than a frog’s, being akin to the lowing of a distressed cow. There is also a family of frogs called the chorus frogs, which are found across North America.

Unfortunately for consumers of pop culture in 1984, Paul McCartney released a song, “We All Stand Together”, which is credited to both himself and the Frog Chorus. I can safely assume it never made a splash in the US, but a generation of children was harmed by this travesty (I wear my scars inside). Should you ever attempt to track down this musical disaster, I apologise in advance for any hurt it causes you.

10. caveblogem - April 11, 2007

kuipercliff, Thanks for the info, and sorry about your scars. I don’t remember “We All Stand Together.” It could be something I blocked out, though, since I listened to everything in those days. Luckily nobody at work reads this blog. If they did, they would no doubt hum the first few bars and unearth memories that I thought I had buried with alcohol long ago.

Could Paul have meant “frog chorus” as an endearing little pet name for Linda?

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