VIDEOS The Zipf Mystery

Discussion in 'GENERAL CHATTING' started by IntrusivePenDesperateSword, Oct 7, 2016.

  1. What do you think of this principle? Do you think of the distribution of words when you write? Are you going to use the word 'quizzaciously' from now on?
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  2. Unsurprising. Interesting, but unsurprising, from what I understand of the human brain. (The stuff you learn when you research things for a gender guide...)

    Humans are pattern-seeking animals. We developed this evolutionary capacity likely for a couple reasons.
    1. It uses less of the brain to seek familiar patterns than to attempt to understand something we've never witnessed before, allowing other functions of the brain to operate simultaneously and with greater resources.
    2. It was a useful survival mechanism to instinctively spot characteristics--like faces--among dense foliage or other terrain that could warn us of an incoming predator or competitor.
    Humans as animals are also quite fond of symmetrical patterns as a basic instinct, though the reasons why are something of a mystery. (It may have something to do with diseases, or the modern advent of beauty products.)

    Combine the two and it goes a long way to explaining the patterns of languages. Things like: An English sentence must always contain a subject and a verb. Independent Clause, Dependent Clause. FANBOYS.

    Some languages, like Mandarin, use the tone of one's voice to speak different meanings with the same word. English overlaps pronunciation of some words verbally that are written differently. (Ex: to, two, too.)

    It's all about patterns, subconscious patterns, that--combined with how the English language works--filter into a general tone. A writer's voice. It shouldn't be surprising that words like "THE" consistently end up in the top 10, considering how integral they are to our language. Combine with our penchant for pattern recognition and symmetry and we're likely more attracted to books and articles which have a symmetrical mathematical pattern we can subconsciously pick up on.

    That's my two cents anyway.

    The: 13.
    Of: 10.
    To: 10.
    A: 8.
    And: 6.

    Such is language.
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