Fingerprinting the greats

Literary scientists have analyzed the collected works of different writers, and come up with charts of which unique words different people use, and how often.
The researchers gathered together the complete works of Hardy, Melville, and Lawrence, and measured that dependence—counting the number of new unique words as a particular author's works get longer and longer.

They used sections from books of varying lengths, randomly pulled from novels, alongside shorter works and short stories.

They found that the authors had distinctly different "unique word" curves.

The team suggests that a work by an unknown author could therefore be compared to prior works, with the curve acting as a linguistic "fingerprint".
My fingerprint-able words would be "zombie apocalypse" and "shenanigans."

1 comment:

  1. Okay, seriously. Artsy people are fully content to cede math to the math people. Why are they trying to take over our literature? Why? WHY?

    If you can't write or enjoy words that collectively equal so much more than the sum of the parts then you just settle for counting them?

    Find something useful to do. Build something with calculus. Engineer a clean water delivery system for a third world country. But please, for the love of all that is holy, do not impose mathematical reason on our books. Unless your protagonist is Rain Man.