Tuesday, March 02, 2010

Odd Find

A word-frequency list from some University of Manchester course. I don't know what the original sample is - possibly a newspaper. The words which have only one example entry are not going to be reliably in every English sample, and even the 2's are suspect there. Too much source sensitivity.
the
of
and
to
a
in
I
at
it
is


Notice how the top half of the list (at the link, not this list, you chowderhead) are all Germanic words, while French and Latin words predominate in the lower half.

3 comments:

Wyman said...

This is obviously a written and not spoken word-frequency list, since the most commonly spoken word is, of course, "I."

Gringo said...

I recently read a link on good writing. It stated that in the interest of having clear,concise and simple writing, that one will tend to use words of Germanic origin , not words originating Romance languages.


The author went on to say that action verbs tended to be of Germanic origin. Flowery adjectives tended to be of Romance language origin.

His point was that words that contributed to simple,clear, concise language tended to be Germanic in origin. I guess he didn't want no nuance in his writing.

While the French would like to expunge words of English orgin from French, that would be rather difficult for us to purge words of French origin from English.I guess that tonight I will eat cattle instead of beef.

G.M. Roper said...

"Horyson" doesn't appear in the dictionary, though someone used it once. Maybe they meant "hoarsen."

"rowards" also doesn't appear, though it's possible they meant "rewards."

Must have been "words" chosen by a member of the journalist tribe of the MSM. :)