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Home :: Archive :: 2008 :: July ::
Wordle and Shakespeare
The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 19.0449  Thursday, 31 July 2008

From:       Martin Mueller <
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Date:       Saturday, 26 Jul 2008 20:38:37 -0500
Subject:    Wordle and Shakespeare

There is a new visualization tool by Jonathan Feinberg, an IBM programmer. It is 
called Wordle and turns text into word clouds (http://wordle.net). It works by 
counting the words in a text and mapping the size of letters to the word count 
in the text. I did this with Othello and you can see the results at 
http://wordle.net/gallery/wrdl/89986/Othello

Phil Burns, a colleague of mine in Academic Technologies, managed to feed Wordle 
with the output of a statistical routine that compares the frequencies of 
Othello (or any other play) with the frequencies of Shakespeare as a whole. We 
have used this routine (Dunning's log likelihood ratio) in WordHoard for quite a 
while (http://wordhoard.northwestern.edu)

There are two visualizations, one with names and the other without names, at

http://wordle.net/gallery/wrdl/90536/Othello_Lemmata_vs._Shakespeare_
http://wordle.net/gallery/wrdl/90759/Othello_lemmata_(names_excluded)_vs._Shakespeare

They are quite striking

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