wordlification; or, this was even harder to follow before I wrote it

A friendly reader recently offered this Wordle-analysis of my writing here:


In his email, he simply wrote, “I’m just saying . . .”

I wondered what exactly he was saying.

Wordle is a tool that will analyze text and then create an image, like the one above, that shows the frequency of words in a graphical manner. It’s fun and even useful. Trouble and I have done this to some conference papers, at first just for fun, but then realizing that it presented a more useful abstract than most abstracts we could write ourselves. But what did this particular analysis mean about me and my writing? That I apparently use the word “one” quite a bit more than others over the past few weeks? That I can’t be any more specific than to say “things”? That “think,” “hope,” and “believe” permeate the writings of a science educator? Regardless, I’m embarrassed. Mostly, though, this particular plot shows my writing for what it really is: a jumbled assembly of words that barely constitutes anything meaningful to anyone else.

But, then, I think, believe, and hope that “meaningful to anyone else” isn’t so much the point. I appreciate you (yes, YOU) reading this, and if there were more of you reading this I’d be flattered. But it isn’t for you; it’s for me. Truth be told, that image above, the supposed production that results from my writing, is actually a better description of all these ideas before they found themselves on the page. So, if you thought my writing was hard to follow in this form, you should have seen it before. In fact, in the above image, you just did.

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One thought on “wordlification; or, this was even harder to follow before I wrote it

  1. I like wordle as it reveals such interesting things about texts and for some reason people are more willing to stare at a wordle, drawing out key words, than they are to read the text in the first place – haven’t quite figured out why yet.
    Thanks for sharing this.

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