Eldritch Effulgence: HP Lovecraft's favorite words


20 Responses to “Eldritch Effulgence: HP Lovecraft's favorite words”

  1. tad604 says:

    Something is quite amusing about the parallels between HP’s xenophobia and racism that was represented in that story (and it’s inherent distrust for miscegenation) and that of the Current day Tea party.

    I’m not sure if your intentionally pointing it out or just a racist thinking he’s being clever.

  2. enkiv2 says:

    I too have done some processing on the text of the complete works of Lovecraft. A markov model (generated by the dadadodo program) is here: http://namcub.accela-labs.com/stories/lovecraft-full.txt.dodo

    If you have dadadodo, just do:
    dadadodo -l lovecraft-full.txt.dodo -c n
    where n is the number of lines you want the story to be. Voila! Instant Lovecraft writing (though sans any coherent narrative, obviously).

  3. Anonymous says:

    I’m a bit surprised no-one suggested “crepuscular”. I’m pretty sure I learnt that word from HPL.

    Hmmm, I’d try “gambrel” also.

  4. LYNDON says:

    Can anyone confirm how many of the 47 uses of “Cyclopean” are in conjunction with the word “vaulting”?

  5. fergus1948 says:

    I’m still slightly shocked that a writer who died before I was even born has made pet words of so many of the descriptors in my head for bankers and Wall Street types!

  6. Lobster says:

    I thought his favorite word was “Lovecraft.” Love his stuff but he’s the only writer where I’ll actually recommend the abridged versions.

  7. zuludaddy says:

    Cthuludaddy, eh? Sounds somewhat familiar…. Should I be flattered?

  8. mcv says:

    More interesting would be a breakdown per story. I’ve got the feeling he had particular favourite words while writing particular stories. I forgot which one had “blasphemous” almost every other sentence, but that was definitely overdoing it a bit.

  9. Yarp says:

    What about “nameless?” That one seemed to be used a lot.

  10. Cthulhu Chick says:

    @mcv I haven’t done that yet, but I did notice some things where words were more frequent. Blasphemous is often used near the end of a story. It’s also used often (5 or 6 times, I think) in The Case of Charles Dexter Ward.

    • mcv says:

      Only 5 or 6 times in Charles Dexter Ward? I considered that the main candidate for the story that had such an overdose of “blasphemous”. I expected it to be at least a dozen. Did you count all variations, like “blasphemy”, “blasphemousness” (0 times, I hope), and whatever else I’m unable to think of?

      • Cthulhu Chick says:

        In the first wordcount, I used “blasphem.” The 5 or 6 I noted in CDW were from searching through it for straight up “blasphemous.” I’d say there were probably a couple other instances of variations I missed.

  11. Prufrock451 says:

    We have been told we cannot do this by a chorus of eldritch voices who will only grow louder and more dissonant in the weeks to come. We’ve been asked to pause for a sanity check. We’ve been warned against offering the people of this city false hope.

    But in the hideous story that is Innsmouth, there has never been
    anything false about hope. For when we have faced down or fainted at antediluvian horrors; when we’ve been told that we’re not ready, or that we shouldn’t try, or that we are blasphemies, generations of abnormal monstrosities have responded with a simple creed that sums up the spirit of a half-fish half-people.
    Yes we can. It was a creed written into the Necronomicon that declared the destiny of a decadent, rotting town.

    Yes we can. It was whispered by shoggoths and Deep Ones as they blazed an effulgent trail toward the darkest of nights.
    Yes we can. It was sung by antique, cyclopean horrors as they struck out from distant planets and Great Old Ones who pushed Earthward against accursed terrors beyond our comprehension.
    Yes we can.

    It was the call of cults who turned the land into a charnelhouse; immemorial madmen who reached for the hearts of children; a meddling fool who chose the Moon-Bog as our new frontier; and a Slumbering King who took us to the Mountains of Madness and fhtagn.

    Yes we can to daemoniac chaos. Yes we can to tribulation and calamity. Yes we can sink this nation into fire beneath a gibbous. Yes we can crack open this world and stare into the yawning abyss. Yes we can.

  12. Donald Petersen says:

    I’ve wanted this wordcount for ages. Thanks so much for doing the legwork!

    But having checked these comments and those on the original site, I’m astonished: no mention whatsoever of “ichor”??

    I understand people’s surprise at the dearth of squamous and batrachian citations, but really… how many times is ichor mentioned?

    That’s always been my Lovecraftian cuppa. (slurp)

  13. Anonymous says:

    I expanded my paltry vocabulary by reading Lovecraft’s books…he created a monster!

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