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Inaugural address words

A word cloud made using Wordle, of the texts of all inaugural addresses, from that of April 30th, 1789 until today’s. The 500 most-used words are displayed (leaving out ‘the’, ‘a’, ‘is’, etc.) with font size proportionate to frequency of use.

Some of the least-used words in inaugural addresses, the hapax legomena of inaugural addresses, used only once in that corpus, include ‘cocaine’ (George W. Bush), ‘Batavian’ (John Adams), and ‘cattle’ (Benjamin Harrison). Oh what I’d pay to hear, just once, a president inveigh against cocaine-snorting Batavian cattle, rather than platitudes about new beginnings. (And I’ll guarantee you that within a week this page will be the #1 authority, as judged by Google, on bovine cocaine abuse in Batavia.)

{ 5 comments… add one }
  • Michael Johnson 2009/01/21, 9:53 am

    It took less than 24 hours!

    Beyond that, I like it :)

  • Rob 2009/01/21, 11:39 am

    Cool. Now I just need to monetize this page by selling pay-per-click banner ads that would be of interest to people searching for bovine cocaine addiction in Batavia. Then I just sit back and rake in the moola. Early retirement, here I come!

  • Chris Ward 2009/01/21, 3:32 pm

    Rob, you know perfectly well that any moola made by selling ads would have to be handed to Sam Palmisano. We only read your blog as a consequence of your employment at the hands of a large solutions business.

    It’s quite likely that some of the moola would trickle down to you … IBM does reward those who bring in revenue, and the awards budget is traditionally 2% of payroll even for those of us who aren’t salesmen on commission … but I wouldn’t quit the day-job just yet if I were you.

    Now, what segment would it come under ? “Other”, I suppose. Not really “Global Tecnhology Services”, or “Global Business Services”, or “Software”.

    I know the 2008 total was $103.6B .

    But it does have to be earned a buck at a time.

    And it’s 2009 now. We’re Open for Business.

  • Roy Schestowitz 2009/01/23, 2:42 pm

    That’s a really nice cloud.

    Try it on an IBM speech ;-)

    “innovation….high end…fiscal…Web 2.0… open… intuitive…Lotus…”

  • Rob 2009/01/24, 2:32 pm

    Roy, more interesting would be to see the buzzwords change over time, as IBM’s business (and the world) changed over the past 100 years. The original buzzwords would have been about tabulating and time recording machines, eventually typewriters, then computers, PC’s, etc. I wonder if any one has ever done a video visualization where word clouds are visualized and grow and shrink over time. Could do that with inaugural addresses as well…

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