Monday May 2, 2005

Looking Backwards

I failed to mark the occasion at the time, but I thought I'd mention that this blog past its first anniversary a couple of months ago.  Its birth date isn't very well defined, because I actually posted for a week or two before I opened it up to the public—I wanted to make sure that I wasn't going to post three times and then run out of things to say—but the first trackback (from Language Hat) and first comment were both on 2/16/2004, so it must have been around then.

I imported the entire contents of this blog so far into a single large Word document.  It's 75,999 words long, 171 single-spaced pages, the length of a short novel (defined by the SFWA as 40,000+ words).

I fed the text into the Gender Genie, which scores it as Male (whew!), 173,354 to 99,785, whatever those numbers mean.  Here's a more detailed analysis:

Feminine Keywords Masculine Keywords
[him] 63 x 73 = 4599 [some] 196 x 58 = 11368
[so] 246 x 64 = 15744 [this] 712 x 44 = 31328
[because] 144 x 55 = 7920 [as] 369 x 37 = 13653
[actually] 59 x 49 = 2891 [now] 65 x 33 = 2145
[everything] 10 x 44 = 440 [good] 75 x 31 = 2325
[but] 483 x 43 = 20769 [something] 60 x 26 = 1560
245 x 43 = 10535 [if] 222 x 25 = 5550
[am] 271 x 42 = 11382 [ever] 31 x 21 = 651
[more] 205 x 41 = 8405 [is] 804 x 19 = 15276
[out] 190 x 39 = 7410 [the] 4344 x 17 = 73848
[too] 61 x 38 = 2318 [well] 52 x 15 = 780
[has] 184 x 33 = 6072 [in] 1487 x 10 = 14870
[since] x 25 = 1300

The Genie saw that I use "the" and "this" a lot, and that seems to mean I'm a man.  It looks like my frequent use of "but" gave me the highest score on the female side—have to keep an eye on that.  Does anyone know of any other analysis tools like this on the web?  I'm curious to run the text through them.  I'll post the results here.

Going forward, I hope to post a bit more regularly on Linguistics in Science Fiction, the original inspiration for this blog.  As I've been getting busier with school (Ph.D., here I come!), I've been writing fewer mega-posts and more little three-paragraph quickies, and I think there's already plenty of that going on in the blogosphere.  Wish me luck!

[Now playing: "Roads" by Portishead]

I am The Tensor, and I approve this post.
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Belated congratulations. One question, how did you import all your posts into word? Did you cut and past each one of them? I'm interested as I think that would be a good way to back up my writing.

Posted by: Blinger at May 2, 2005 4:29:08 AM

"something" is manly. "everything" womanly. "good" is manly. It doesn't say where "thing" falls. I wonder, because Martha Stewart's "It's a Good Thing" line might mark her manly, indeed.

Posted by: eric morse at May 2, 2005 4:37:22 AM

I cut-and-pasted them all from the Category archive pages over on the right, so it didn't take very long. But don't forget to do a Paste Special (plain text) or it will bring along all the HTML formatting, which you may not want.

(Did I forget to mention that I recently added Category pages?)

Posted by: The Tensor at May 2, 2005 6:18:38 AM

What's wrong with a quickie? A knee-trembler against the blog wall is often better than no blogging at all, or blogging by one's self, which is sad and can eventually lead to blindness and hairy palms. Or so I'm told.

Posted by: Alistair at May 2, 2005 7:12:35 AM

Since you're blogging with TypePad, there's also a link in the Control Panel that will let you export your entire archives into a single HTML-free file.

This post reminds me that I was busy teasing Mark Liberman about the Gender Genie when your blog went public, so I'll modestly add that I also had figured out that you were a man, just by reading!

Posted by: Semantic Compositions at May 2, 2005 8:22:33 AM

Congrats from me as well, and I don't know about TypePad, but in Movable Type there's a simple export option:
"To export your entries, click on the link below ('Export Entries'). To save the exported data to a file, you can hold down the option key on the Macintosh, or the Shift key on a PC, while clicking on the link. Alternatively, you can select all of the data, then copy it into another document."
I don't do it as often as I should, but it keeps me from lying awake at night wondering what I'd do if my hosting service went under.

Posted by: language hat at May 2, 2005 1:55:20 PM