NOV 16, 2014  

NOV 9, 2014       NOV 2, 2014       OCT 26, 2014       OCT 19, 2014      OCT 12, 2014       OCT 5, 2014       SEP 28, 2014         EARLIER


to avoid address abuse, please type it yourself

be nice to written words

Recently Iíve spotted a publisherís announcement for a "million words novel". Wow, million words! Arenít you impressed?

Well, Iím not. The very idea of using the number of words as a qualifying criterion for a novel is a downgrading of a novel. The publisher must be carried astray by the current euphoria with Big Data. Does he think that, just because previously counting words with finger and pencil was tedious, literary critics did not use that criterion? And nowadays computers make the task gratifying? Should we expect announcements about the number of semicolons (;), quotation marks ("), exclamation symbols (!) and triple dots (...)?

OK, Iíve got carried away - number of semicolons would do only a core statistician. A literary statistician will count the number of unique words, proper names excluded at the higher level of the approach, probably after several Pd.D. theses on the subject. Further on, some key unique words could be used for the classifi- cation of literary works. For instance, the occurrence of the word fuck could be used as a delimiter of so called contemporary literature.


be nice to written words


Krešimir J. Adamić