Friday, March 31, 2006


So I never go to amazon dot com any more. Well, quite rarely. So I was shocked to see some of the new text tools available. Some of the books now have concordances. Which, for amazon purposes, means they'll show you the most common words in the text, with the size of the word on the screen being a rough guide to how frequently the word appears in a text. So if you look at the concordance for, say, Contracts in a Nutshell, you'll see a great big "promise".

But the feature I'm in love with now is called SIP, for Statistically Improbable Phrases. Basically, it shows you short phrases that are fairly unique to the text in question. I looked up my personal favorite, The Magic Mountain, and discovered the following list.
cultured gestures, pleural shock, little extra therapy, dining attendants, placet experiri, sine pecunia, ragged lips, informal pronouns, wild departure, baptismal bowl, classic gifts, good engineer, light favorites, rest cure, moist spot, purple cheeks, checked trousers, ivory complexion, silent sister, fever chart, social rooms, world republic, nightstand lamp
Silent sister? Rest cure? Pleural shock? I think we should all be grateful to amazon for this stunning contribution to the art of naming bands.


SilentSister said...

I am Silent Sister!

Matt said...

So nice to finally meet you!