Wednesday, January 07, 2009

Picture This...

I recently discovered wordle.net, which generates "word clouds" from text that you enter. The program gives greater prominence to words that appear more frequently, thus producing a kind of shorthand-image of what is emphasized in the original text. I know that readers of this blog probably don't need yet another Internet distraction, but this one is really fun. Also, according to Carl over at Dead Voles, it's a good way to visually demonstrate to students the importance of "ordering" information. (Just in case you're still in the habit of actually trying to justify your Internet time as somehow vaguely work-related.) Anyway, after playing around with the site a few times, I decided to enter the text of my entire dissertation (all 346 pages of it) to see what the word cloud would look like. Here's the result:


Too bad you can't just send one of these things in as a book proposal.

3 comments:

Ideas Man, Ph.D. said...

Thanks for leading me to yet one more enjoyable time waster. I imagine that South is big in yours because of South Africa, but I like to imagine that it's because you wrote "Being as I how I'm from the South and all" a lot in your diss. (I'm pretty sure that's a verbatim quote).

DOCTOR J said...

Nah, I only wrote that sentence once, right at the end of the diss where I said:

"Being as how I'm from the South and all, 'nuff said. Q.E.D."

Ideas Man, Ph.D. said...

Oh, man! Now you know I only read the end...