Word Frequency

A commenter on the GU booksblog mentioned this wonderful site which counts word frequency in texts, so I gave it the first half of my novel (actually, a novel I wrote ten years ago – obviously I’m too sensitive to trust it with my current novel): I append the results somewhere below.

I confess: I’m an obsessive editor. I enjoy editing far more than writing in the first place (well, it takes a lot less effort). In general – and possibly in contrast to this blog I couldn’t say – I use a very simple language (let’s say, a simple language, complexly structured) and it doesn’t surprise me there’s hardly a recondite word in the list (I don’t know, I’ve got down to frequency of 4 and I find nonchalant and reverie – are these obscure enough? – on 3 we have supercilious, iniquities, Hitler, God, countenance and aggrandisement – and I know at 1 there’ll be weltanschaaung (or however it’s spelled)).

For those who are interested: breasts and balls both scored 5.

2031 the
2012 i (1st-person narrator)
1947 to
1561 and
1495 he
1415 was
1158 of
1032 a
949 in
904 it
873 had
774 she
765 that
698 me
610 her
544 him
532 my
531 his
496 you
481 at
478 as
473 with
420 for
380 but
337 on
335 have
321 all
305 darius (name of central character)
302 so
299 would
297 we
295 be
287 if
274 up
270 this
258 about
252 time
250 could
248 there
245 what
232 when
226 been
218 were
218 said (Elmore Leonard would’ve approved)
213 out
207 not
192 only
190 just
185 from
178 even
173 by
169 which
168 no
165 did
163 or
161 they
159 seemed (I seem to cut out “seemed” and “appeared a lot these days)
157 more
157 like
157 didn’t
154 one
150 an
149 way
145 any
141 going
138 really (I spend a lot of time excising this)
136 never
130 us
130 too
130 room
128 don’t
127 how
126 then
126 back
123 much
122 now
120 jodie (name of narrator’s girlfriend)
119 know
116 perhaps (another word I tend to excise)
113 though
113 get
113 do
112 come
111 think
111 down
110 people
109 see
107 came
107 after
106 who
106 little
106 felt
104 asked
103 our
102 always
101 is
101 himself
100 some

So that’s most of the words. Now if you’ll just re-arrange them in a gratifying order in your mind, I’m sure you’ll get the gist of my novel.

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