In case you were wondering, if you cut and paste the entire text of Herman Melville’s Moby-Dick into the new online widget Wordle, you can get a picture like the one above, featuring the seventy-five words that appear most frequently in the novel. I stipulated for all words to appear in lower-case, so that “whale” and “Whale” would be counted together. If you ask for the top three hundred sixty-five words, you can get a picture like this:
Note that the name “Ishmael” appears in neither. It didn’t show up when I asked for the five hundred most popular words in the novel, either. (Here’s a link to the PDF, in case anyone wants to print it out.)
UPDATE, 30 June 2008: Since Michael asked, you can now buy T-shirts. I made one version with just the Moby-Dick word cloud, and another that has that on the front and Billy Budd on the back.
5 thoughts on “Jellyfish”
Very interesting. It seems to mirror Ahab's obsession.
I really dig this. What about taking it over to Cafepress or something and making a t-shirt?
Excellent! Thanks, Caleb
Thx, Caleb – Very like a whale. It is interesting that Ishmael doesn't appear, but neither does "I" or "we"; does the program omit pronouns? But it doesn't recognize "thou" and "ye" as pronouns, so you get those. Input my own blog and decided I need to use some words more, some less, and continue searching for new ones!
Yeah, I clicked on the option in the Wordle program that omits common words, and it looks as if all the pronouns but "thou" and "ye" are included.
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