Nathan Bransford, Author


Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Teen Diary Word Cloud

So! The 650+ contest entries ended up being around 235,000 words (I'm currently about 1/3 of the way through). Here's the Wordle.net word cloud for the entries:



Very interesting!

I'll be back tomorrow with the finalists.






66 comments:

A Paperback Writer said...

Why am I not surprised that "like" is the most common word?
But I don't see "whatever." That's another teen staple.

J.J. Bennett said...

Like I have no idea what you're talking about...

Chumplet - Sandra Cormier said...

Some of us were teens before the 'whatever' phase. In my day, it was 'cool.' Oh, the simple seventies!

spiziks said...

"Like" is also used in similes, though.

Karen L. Reese said...

I felt some entries would have benefited from reading Nathan's recent article here:

http://blog.nathanbransford.com/2009/12/holiday-repeat-1st-person-narratives.html

As he said, giving the ILLUSION of teenage speak is not the same as copying down verbatim what we hear.

Lucy said...

Reading the equivalent of 2-3 full length novels by tomorrow? OUCH. My eyeballs are hurting in sympathy.

lexcade said...

nathan, you're a trooper.

seriously, how many clones of you are there? that's the only way you can do as much as you do and still sleep.

Robert A Meacham said...

I bet both eyeballs are turning circles in opposite directions and no telling what it is doing to your mind. Great contest. I'm not even one-third through reading the entries.

Corra McFeydon said...

That is a lot of reading!!

Best of luck to all the entrants - and to Nathan's eyes.

:D

Kelly Bryson said...

I fully expected to see 'kiss' up there. Whatever.

God and Ponytails said...

Dig your new site!

Kaitlyne said...

Yeah, like I don't understand why, "like" would like be one of the most common words. It's like you think teens are like always using the word like.

You know the sorta scary part? My mom would probably be laughing her butt off right now saying that's exactly how I sound (no, I'm not a teenager. :P)

J.J. Bennett said...

Nathan,

I was just wondering if most people wrote their entry, and then read others, or the other way around. Just a thought on a poll possibly... I personally read the contest, whipped out Word and typed. Opened the other window and submitted. I'm wondering if others did the same I guess.

Jen

J.J. Bennett said...

In other words if their entry was altered by being able to read other entries.

Sorry it's late and I got an hour and a half of sleep late night...

Anonymous said...

I think Nathan's earlier post about writing a first person narrative doesn't neatly apply to a teen diary entry, and the reason is probably why I'm not a fan of diary entries (or stories that are in the format of a letter). We write one way, we speak another, and we diary an entirely third way. Do people really recount entire conversations in a diary entry or letter? Isn't it more, "He told me he loved me" and less, "I love you," he said?

Not that I'm not guilty as charged, but I've always found it awkward to write a story in letter/diary format.

J.J. Bennett said...

Nevermind... Just ignor the insane.

Jennifer Brindley said...

Crap! I thought the deadline was midnight. BOO!

Soup said...

Don't forget to yell MATSUTAKE!!! when you finish :P

Btw, I'm a teen and yes, it is SO hard not to say 'like'.

Josin L. McQuein said...

I figured "sucks" would have been on the list since that seems to be the consensus for teen life according to those entries. Likewise, I'd have expected to see txt spk in the cloud.

kthnksbai


(My verification word is a slur :-( I want a new one.)

emeraldcite said...

you know, like, just, think, even.

Good luck on those entries... that's a pretty nice response.

Jaime said...

Nathan, there should be a new word that you can, like, totally own.

Teenage angst.

Tangst.

It's soooooo not like mangst.

houndrat ( Debra Driza ) said...

Wow, Nathan, you are, like, not even human. Just, you know, think about getting some sleep. Huh--I don't get why those giant cloud-hogging words would be used so much. :)

Thanks for hosting such a fun contest!

storyqueen said...

Could this BE any cooler?

I think not.


love that wordle.

Faith Imagined said...

I had fun weaving together pieces of my old journal. It was like sewing a very embarrassing memory quilt...kinda. I did, however, change names.

I do have a renewed sense of empathy for my babysitter. It sucks to be 16.

Julie McDonnell said...

I'm surprised 'cheerleader' wasn't ranked higher...

Mira said...

Lol. That's a great Wordle. Very funny.

Nathan - you have my sympathy - not only are you reading 2 books in one night, like Lucy said, but you're reading two books overflowing with angst.

If you need to stay home from school....er, I mean work tomorrow, I'm sure we'd all vouch for you and write you a note.

We'd write that you are very dedicated.

Fun contest, as always. :)

Ju Dimello said...

Guys,

Do you honestly think Nathan can read our comments out here tonight?

:-D

mbastartupblog said...

That may be the best use of Wordle yet.

Ju Dimello said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Anonymous said...

I used KNOW!

Kristen said...

I used "know" ten times, "just" 3 times, and "like" once... It's always fun contributing to a statistic, even a wordle visual one.

The Things We Carried said...

I am anxious to see what decide! I hope you will tell us what appealed to you about the winner's writing!

Linguista said...

"like" really? lol. Go Nathan! You're my hero!

Brian Buckley said...

Anyone else find it interesting that "Mom" shows up twice as often as "Dad"?

Elaine 'still writing' Smith said...

My faith in our ability to write like teens has been vindicated!

That is about how often the word LIKE gets used in every sentence spoken, around here.

If you had more English writers entering the word SO would have been more prominent - It's, like, so-used well often. ;)

Emily Cross said...

wow well done Nathan! I don't envy you have read all those entries!

Anon7.57pm: I think you're completely right. Diary entries are very different as they are not meant to be read by anyone else and as such wouldn't be written that way. So is there a fourth version - which is a Diary for public consumption (like TSY)

My entry is fictional but the way i wrote it is reflective of my old diary entries - exclamations galore, brackets, talking on one topic - then onto something else -back to original topic. Making asides on my own comments etc.

LOL or maybe it's symbollic of my scattered (mental) mind.

Sophie Playle said...

Interesting. I like the way Time/Now/Never are together.

SZ said...

I expected I and You to be in there. Maybe those are a given and not part of it.

Lydia Sharp said...

I went back and compared this to the word cloud you did for the first paragraph contest. "Like" is again at the top. There were a few similar words at similar sizes, but many differences, too.

The one thing that jumped out at me was the mention of Mom was bigger than the mention of Dad, and I couldn't find either one of those in the "first paragraph" word cloud. Mother, yes, but it was small.

I'll admit it. I'm a word nerd.

Elena said...

650+ entries...glad I didn't click on the follow-up comments!

Shelby said...

JJ Bennett - I wrote my entry before I read other entries. I enjoyed reading them all.. I picked out a few faves of my own.

So fun this was.

Fawn Neun said...

Aw, Bless! I don't think I could read 235K of teen angst without enough alcohol to make me unable to judge them.

I have 16 and 17 year old sones and they're actually pretty eloquent. Don't be fooled by Disney-TV teenagers, they're not all airheads.

Anon 7:57, I'm working on a piece that's currently part diary (ahem! Journal!), part first person narrative and I think the most fun has been altering the style between inner dialogue, interaction and journaling - and this is with young people (older teens/20's) It's been challenging, but it's kind of been fun.

J.J. Bennett said...

Thanks Shelby... When Nathan did another contest, I read other entries first. Big mistake...on my part.

Anonymous said...

My husband (44) and I (35) recently agreed that we will cut down on our use of the word 'like' - so when we use it the other person whne he hears it says 'like'and then we repeat the sentence without it - like is highly overused in our household. It is driving us both crazy, but we want to get there.

GuyStewart said...

Not sure it's the "valley girl" like. The teens I've worked with use it to say how much they care (it's usually the word BEFORE "love" or instead of "enjoy".) "Like" is a multi-purpose word. You can "like" a class or "like" an animal or "like" a same-sex friend. It's a versatile word!

Dara said...

LOL. Yeah, that wordle cloud definitely makes sense.

There's definitely quite a few awesome entries in this contest. I'm anxious to see what you choose.

ryan field said...

I'm not surprised about Like.

I love to watch Judge Judy go after people who use it too often in court.

Kathleen said...

J.J. Bennett,

Good question. Would love to know the answer.

Personally, I read the contest info, wrote my entry, posted, THEN went back and read the other entries.

Sort of glad I did it that way because mine was shorter than what most people were posting and I might have been (more) nervous about posting it had I known.

Kayeleen said...

JJ Bennett, I started writing, but got interrupted by my toddlers before I could post. I ended up reading a few of the entries before I posted and felt like mine needed some work. I posted it any way.

Next time, I'll just trust myself and go for it without reading anything.

Hannah said...

J.J. Bennett - I read a few of them at random to see the sort of topic being covered, then decided I'd just start writing or risk changing what I'd put on the basis of what I'd read.

Having posted, I started reading some more (got to about 150 and could no longer cope - I have so much admiration for Nathan. And even then I was only skim-reading and skipping past ones that bored me after the first few lines) and decided I'd made the right decision. Although felt slightly boring in my subject choice!

Sheila said...

JJ - I didn't read the others before posting mine. When I read them later, I felt like I had come to school with the wrong homework assignment.

I noticed on the wordle that it lists some words twice, starting with both lowercase and capital letters. So there are two moms, two likes, etc.

Thanks for the contest, Nathan, it was a fun exercise.

Rachel said...

@Sheila - That's why I didn't enter! Yikes, you're brave. :)

Like, everybody already made the "like" joke, so I'm not gonna make it again. Nathan, you must be like "give me a break" after reading all these comments!

MzMannerz said...

I posted mine first, and then read the other entries. I'm not sure I chose to do that consciously or anything... I just wanted to get to it.

Plus, I don't have Nathan's patience. I love to read, but egad, there were a lotta entries before I even posted, much less now!

Jamie said...

Great word cloud - what a neat idea!!! Can't wait to see who the finalists are!!!

Seamus said...

I wonder if you get disqualified for using anything other than a teen voice of today? Teens, for the generations I've witnessed, seem to have a common language, without necessarily using the same words.

Rachel Hamm said...

J.J.

I didn't read anyone else's before I wrote and posted mine, though I kinda wish I had. I thought I was being unique in addressing my entry to God, but the one right before mine did the same thing! haha.

~Rach

Sarah from Hawthorne said...

Wow! That's just, like, you know, a lot of words to read.

Kim W said...

Your optometrist is going to be very angry with you! At least print them out, save your eyes from the glare!

Ashley A. said...

JJ
I wrote mine first and then read the others after posting. I was afraid I would be discouraged if I read the other entries first!
AA

Shevi said...

Cool.

Tawny Taylor said...

Did anybody else get Angst Overload after reading those entries? After about half, I had to go find something happy to read.

Sean Patrick Reardon said...

hallelujah, my brothers and sisters...Can I get an O M G!

J.J. Bennett said...

Wow...Thanks for the input everyone. Sorry Nathan. Looks like I kinda took over this thread without meaning too. Many thanks for a great contest by the way. I haven't made up my mind yet on my choice. I'm still pondering between two of them. Thanks again! :)

Nathan Bransford said...

Not at all, it was a good question.

LindaBudz said...

Love that! "Like," 'just" and "know" are all words I have to watch out for in my writing.

My brother-in-law once told me my writing suffers from "the Baptist disease."

"You know," he said, "Dear Lord, we just pray that you'll just, just keep us in your care and we just ask, Lord that you just watch over us, Lord and just...."

Veronica Barton-Dean said...

Oh Nathan the likes win again! Did none of us learn from the last contest:)

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