03 December 2012

I Forget Things


If you have ever read any one of my posts, you know I forget things a lot.  I forget to type words, or talk about something I really meant to.  I do it a lot I think.  I forget how many times :-)

ANYWAY, after my 80's wrap-up, L asked me today if I've noticed any trends throughout the decades.  This is exactly the question I had hoped to get some insight into through the word cloud I post at the end of each decade.  In the previous decades, I've been pretty upset with myself for all the garbage I continuously spew.  This time around I saw the same damn words popping up and decided to look at a list of words with totals.  I was a little happier after that, and probably finally gained that insight I was looking for.

When I saw the list I saw quite a bit more conceptual language, but there were so many different words that the totals ended up low.  Too low to tip the scales when I use words like 'book' over a hundred times in one decade.

Which brings me to my first point: I write like a moron.  There's no getting around it, despite what I might say in the following paragraphs.  It's really a wonder that I'm able to communicate with members of my own species at all.  I'm not sure how many times I expected to use words like gender or hierarchical without sounding like I'm writing for Bitch Magazine or trying to get extra credit in PHI 100.

I remember a week in high school when I tried to start a trend of carrying one of those tiny dictionary's in my shirt pocket with me every day and challenging myself to use some stupid word like conundrum a couple times that day.

Yes.  I was a hit with the ladies.

My high school challenges obviously didn't take because after just a few months of blogging, I feel like a phraseological castrato (at least that explains my angel voice). 

But really, to answer L's question, finding out that the words I use most are just prepositional/dumb did make me realize that, at least through the 1980's, there has been considerable variety in the Hugo winning Novels.  With such variety then, it is only natural that my writing would bounce from topic to topic and those word cloud scripts would only pick up on the most frequently used/not glamorous at all words that I use too frequently.

A glance though the list of winners just confirms how many different themes have been covered over the last 40 or so weeks.  And that makes me so, so happy.

Thanks for the good question L, and I hope I'll remember to tackle it in more detail when I finally finish this challenge.


  1. thanks for this. and the word cloud is such a good idea. I find myself slumping into repetitive word use--the picture book month was a challenge where that was concerned.

    Looking forward to you looking back on this Project after it is completed.


    1. Wow, I'll bet the picture book month was difficult. I didn't notice anything like that myself. I enjoyed that month so much! Emmeline has a few new favorites as a result.

  2. Have I shared this before? It's one of those quotes I appreciate:

    Michel de Montaigne:

    "These are fancies of my own, by which I do not pretend to discover things
    but to lay open myself; they may, peradventure, one day be known to me,
    or have formerly been, according as fortune has been able to bring me in
    place where they have been explained; but I have utterly forgotten it;
    and if I am a man of some reading, I am a man of no retention; so that I
    can promise no certainty, more than to make known to what point the
    knowledge I now have has risen."

    The dude is a bonafide smarty and brilliant essayist, but he refused to be expected to remember things.

    1. Nice! I'm sure you know I'm always holding myself to the intellectual standard of the renaissance philosopher, so this is perfect. I'll run with it. :D


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