The famously spare Hemingway used 80 words ending in -ly per 10,000 words of prose; JK Rowling uses 140 adverbs per 10,000 words, and EL James uses 155.
The stats come from a new book called Nabokov's Favorite Word Is Mauve: What the Numbers Reveal About the Classics, Bestsellers, and Our Own Writing, a data-driven look at prose that plumbs the new, massive corpuses of digitized books to make quantitative -- rather than the traditional qualitative -- statements about our literary habits.
In the novel The Hobbit, J.R.R. Tolkien used the word “she” only once. In The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie, however, she relative to he is used 79% of the time, the highest ratio of the classics surveyed. Female authors are very strongly represented on that side of the curve, let me tell you. And male authors do the “he” far more, in relative terms, than female authors do the “she.”
You also will learn from this book that David Brooks starts more sentences with “The” than any other word, whereas for Paul Krugman that place of honor goes to “But.” And, for better or worse, Krugman uses far less anaphora.
Number of -ly adverbs per 10,000 words
[Tyler Cowen/Marginal Revolution]
The KLF is back. You will follow the instructions, or you will not get your book signed. On my way to Liverpool for the KLF thing and what’s shaping up to be the greatest book signing in pop history (pic via Kristy off Facebook) pic.twitter.com/nwHBxHwKns— Peter Robinson (@Popjustice) August 22, 2017 I am now in […]
China Mieville is an unabashedly political science fiction writer, an avowed Marxist whose fiction is shot through with politics in the very best way; however, Mieville’s politics are generally kept below the surface, influence rather than central fact — that is, until the publication of October: The Story of the Russian Revolution, a masterful, novelistic nonfiction history of the year preceding the Russian revolution one century ago.
Brian W Aldiss died at his home in Oxford, England on Saturday morning at the age of 92.
Toaster ovens are the perfect appliance for small things like toasted sandwiches and roasted garlic (try it!), but anything more involved usually requires a full-sized conventional oven.However, despite its small size, the Wolfgang Puck Pressure Oven can handle anything from baked pastries to broiled meats. This kitchen appliance has a minimal countertop footprint, and cooks […]
The Pry.Me Bottle Opener holds tens of thousands of times its own weight, and you can pick one up now from the Boing Boing Store.This remarkable keychain is considerably smaller than any of your keys, but don’t let that fool you: it can easily open any bottle, and could even tow a trailer full of […]