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Friday, May 14, 2010

The Top 25 Words in My Unpublished Manuscript


I tried to use the Word Counter program to find out what the 25 most popular words in my unpublished manuscript are, but when I copied my "text" (80 pages) into text box it overwhelmed the system. All the screen could tell me popped up in a little box singing "Error 003 Please Try Again Later."

My manuscript does not want its words counted.

Know why?

It doesn't want me or anyone to know what words I'm obsessed with. It doesn't want me to know because I would take whatever it told me and turn it into a way to feel like I'm a shitty writer who chooses shitty words.

And it doesn't want you to know because you'll think you know what kind of book it is by reading just 25 words of it.

My hunch about the 25-most popular words in my not-yet-out-in-the-world book:

I
hate
you
I mean
love
not
only
chaos
but
harmony
Zeus
too
tarantulas
tchotchkes
temples
holy moly
tortillas
and furniture
and pepperoni
and fuck you

Or, who knows? Maybe lake takes the cake. Or drift. Maybe, because I have a poem where I repeat America fifty times, America wins.

I don't necessarily believe America should win.

Surely an insect or insect part is up toward the top. And astronaut. And probably insulation or installation.

But fuck, what if fuck is in the top ten? Fuck very well could be in the top 10. So could god. So could cloud. So could leveler. So could love.

Die and said are probably close to the top. And tantrum.

All kidding aside, I really want to know definitively, not speculatively, what these words are. I will keep trying and report back later.


4 comments:

Susan Rich said...

Hi Martha,
I needed to try a few times and it worked when I didn't rush it but just gave it about two minutes to "think" about the manuscript. Also, the second time around I took off the thank yous and the attributions to different journals -- and the word "review" was no longer on my list. I say try one more time!

Martha Silano said...

I will keep trying, Susan. Thanks for the tips!

seana said...

I love your list of words, Martha, even if it isn't the official one.

Martha Silano said...

Thanks, Seana!