beamjockey (beamjockey) wrote,
beamjockey
beamjockey

The Inchoate Reviews of Google Books

Many items in Google Books have been given a "Common terms and phrases" list, or "word cloud," with links to the text. Roughly speaking they are words whose frequency in the book is much greater than their frequency in general use.

When I discussed The Boy Mechanic recently I called this an "inchoate review."

Here are Inchoate Reviews of five more books. The first is Moby Dick; the others will be trivially easy to guess.
again almost ambergris avast away baleen Bedford Bildad binnacle birth-mark blubber boat book of Jonah bows bowsman bowsprit pointing Bulkington cabin cannibal Cape Horn capstan Captain Ahab Captain Peleg cetacea Cetology CHAPTER chief mate clam come common porpoise crew cried Daggoo darted deck don't doubloon Duodecimo dyspepsia Euroclydon ever eyes feet Fin-Back Whale fish fishery Flask flukes forecastle Greenland whale gunwale hammock hand handspikes harpoon he's head himself humpbacked whale Indian ocean Ishmael it's Jeroboam Jonah Joppa King-Post Leviathan look main-mast Martha's Vineyard mast-head mate might missing murderers Moby Dick monomania Nantucket Nantucket ships Narwhal never night oars Octavo pagan Pequod Perseus Peter Coffin phrenologists Propontis Quaker quarter-deck Queequeg queer Ramadan Right Whale round sail sailors schooner seemed sharks ship ship biscuit ship's shipmates side sloop-of-war sort soul Sperm Whale spermaceti spile spiracle spout stand Starbuck Steelkilt Straits of Sunda strange Stubb Sumatra taffrail Tahiti tambourine Tarshish Tashtego tell thee thing third mate thou though till tobacco smoke tomahawk turned vertebrae Vishnu voyage whaleboat whalebone whalemen White Squall White Whale wigwam windlass

answered asked Scrooge believe bell bless Bob Cratchit bright Camden Town CHARLES DICKENS cheerful child CHRISTMAS CAROL Christmas Day Christmas Present clerk clock cloth cold cried Scrooge curtains dark dead dear Dickens Dilber dinner door eyes face father fire Fred gentleman Ghost of Christmas girl goose Hallo happy head hear heard heart hope Humbug Jacob Marley JOHN LEECH kind laughed light little Bob Marley's Ghost Martha Master Peter merry Christmas never night observed old Fezziwig old Joe parlour past Phantom PHIZ plump sister poor pudding replied the Ghost returned robe Robin Crusoe round Scrooge knew Scrooge looked Scrooge's nephew Scrooge's niece shadows snow spectre Spirit stood stopped streets tell thing thought Tiny told trembled Turkey turned Uncle Scrooge voice walked window woman wonder word young Cratchits

adventures alight Amadis of Gaul answered Don Quixote armor arms asked barber basin battle beard beast beautiful began begged Biscayan blow books of chivalry bray cage called Cardenio carried castle Cervantes CHAPTER coach cried Dapple devil Don Fernando Don Quix Don Quixote saw donkey Dorothea dressed duchess duke Dulcinea del Toboso Durandarte enchanted fair ladies fancied fell friend Sancho galley-slaves gave giant give goatherds governor hand haste head heard heaven helmet Herakles Holy Brotherhood horse innkeeper knew knight knight-errant lady Dulcinea lance landlord look maidens Mancha master Melisendra Montesinos mounted mule mule-drivers niece priest princess Quiteria Quixote and Sancho Quixote's quoth Sancho replied Don Quixote rode Rozinante Rueful Visage saddle sallied Sancho Panza servant shield Sir knight soon Spain squire stood story sword tell thee thing thou told took turned village wonder word worship wounded

abolition absolute alienated antagonism argued association Bauer became become Berlin bourgeois bourgeois society bourgeoisie Bruno Bauer Cabet Cambridge capital century Charles Fourier Chartist Christianity civil society class struggle Communist Manifesto conception criticism Critique of Hegel's Critique of Political division of labour Economic and Philosophical emancipation England English essay estrangement Europe existence feudal Feuerbach Fourier France Frederick Engels freedom French Revolution German Ideology Gospel Hegel Hegel's Philosophy human Icaria idea individual Karl Marx liberal London Man's Manuscripts of 1844 Marx and Engels Marx and F Marx's Marxism means MECW Moses Hess movement natural negative community original Owenites Paris party Philosophical Manuscripts Philosophy of Right political economy position principle private property proletariat Proudhon question radical reason reform relations religion religious republican revolutionary Rheinische eitung Roman Ruge Russian Saint-Simon Saint-Simonian Schapper social socialist species Strauss theory translation Weitling workers Young Hegelians

alfo Angle Angle of Incidence appear arife Axis Bafe becaufe blue Bodies breadth Bubbles caft caufe Circle colour'd compofed compound confequence copioufly Cryftal dark defcribed denfity Diameter diftance equal Experiment fame farther feems feen fenfible feparated feven feveral fhall fide firft Prifm Fits of eafy fmall folid fome fometimes forts of Rays frangible Fringes fuch fuppofe gible Glaffes Glafs Glais greater green hole Image Inch Inci increafed indigo Knives leaft refrangible lefs Lens Lines lours mall meafured Medium Mixture Motion muft Obfervation oblique Oil of Vitriol Opticks orange pafs Paper parallel Particles perpendicular placed Plane Plates PROP Proportion Rays of Light reafon reflected Reflexion refraded refrangible Rays reft reprefent Shadow Sine of Incidence Sine of Refraction Spectrum Speculum Subftances Sun's Light Surface Telefcopes thefe Colours ther thicknefs thofe Rays tranfmitted tranfparent ufual unufual violet Water whitenefs whofe yellow
(The last one has OCR trouble with the "long s" or "ſ." But so do the eyeballs of many of us who learned to read in the Twentieth Century. One recalls Stan Freberg's account of Ben Franklin, teasing Thomas Jefferson about "life, liberty, and the purfuit of happineff.")

There's a certain beauty to these. They're unearthed by a blind, unconscious, inarticulate robot, yet they bring resonances to the human reader's mind, and spark the imagination. There ought to be a way to make a game, or a poem-like object, or something, out of them. Any suggestions?

One could, to take a simple example, use them as a source for Moby Dick-themed Mad Libs.

There's some interesting discussion of "Common terms and phrases" on Eric Rumsey's blog. For those technically inclined, Wikipedia has an article on TF/IDF, or term frequency/inverse document frequency, which Google is using to produce its word clouds.
Tags: books, google
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