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What word will you say the most often in your life? The word you use most commonly is probably the word all English-speakers use: the.

What are the most-used words in the English language?

One way to trace most-frequently-used words is with the search magic of Google Ngram viewer. With the Ngram viewer, you type a word, and it tells you how often that word is used over a specific time period, based on the Google Books database. For example, the word “the” is used about 5% of the time, which means that in every text of 100 words, 5 of those words are “the.” Similarly, the word “of” is used about 3% of the time, and the word “and” is used about 2.5% of the time.

The folks over at Oxford Dictionaries compiled a comprehensive analysis of English-language usage called the Oxford English Corpus. In this sense, a corpus is the entire body of words and phrases that constitute a language. See their complete analysis here.

Obviously, most of the most commonly used words are short words that help build sentences. As in the previous sentence, the words of, are, that, and the join the parts of the sentence that make the idea. Linguists call these “function words.” 84 of the top 100 words are function words.

Things get interesting when you look at the list of top 10 nouns:
time
person
year
way
day
thing
man
world
life
hand

Some of the words, like way, have many different meanings, which may be why they are more frequently used. For example, you could say, “She’s lost her way” or “that’s the way to the grocery store.” It is the same word in both instances, but they are very different meanings. Another reason certain words occur frequently has to do with their use in common phrases. So a word like time is used often, and it also appears in many common phrases, like last time, in time, next time, etc.

Journalists have suggested banishing overused words. Learn about the banished words from 2011 here.

Do these words surprise you? Are there words you expected to be common that aren’t?

San Francisco band replaces drums with a pair of iBooks: sans skins.(LunaGroove)(Brief Article)

Macworld April 1, 2005 | Dalrymple, Jim Including computers in a band setup is nothing new, but San Francisco’s LunaGroove (www.lunagroove.com) has gone one step further–completely replacing a traditional drum kit with two iBooks. go to site ibooks for mac

[ILLUSTRATION OMITTED] Alex Theory, who runs the Macs on stage, uses two 1 GHz iBooks to power the band’s drums and the overall feel of the music. Using Ableton’s Live, Propellerhead Software’s Reason, and Digidesign’s Pro Tools, Theory mixes and assigns beats to his iBooks’ keyboards, changing beats on-the-fly depending on the mood of the crowd. this web site ibooks for mac

“We are completely interactive and fluid with the audience,” says Theory. “We have taken what a DJ does and incorporated it into a band.” The band’s guitarist, Jimmy Leslie (who doubles as a music journalist), says that with Theory setting the beat, the band can quickly transition what it’s doing based on the vibe it gets from the people–without having to stop. Leslie still rips out solos, as any good jam-band guitarist should, but the overall feel is different.

“People still love guitar solos, but they are just tired of hearing it done the same old way,” says Leslie.

According to Leslie, LunaGroove differs from others who have tried to use computers onstage because the band’s sound isn’t too electronic, and it’s not trying to make traditional instruments sound electronic. LunaGroove’s approach is to incorporate the effects seamlessly into the music.

“The way the band works is like a futuristic jazz trio,” says Leslie.

Dalrymple, Jim

160 Comments

  1. Elena -  April 10, 2014 - 5:39 am

    People of the World! please! watch russian TV news about Ukraine in internet! You have to know the truth!!!

    Reply
  2. sanet -  March 24, 2014 - 7:04 am

    wow I did not know that

    Reply
  3. sithembiso -  April 12, 2012 - 11:07 am

    “LOVE”

    Reply
  4. sithembiso -  April 12, 2012 - 10:59 am

    “BECAUSE”

    Reply
  5. BeastBoyLover(Abi) -  April 2, 2012 - 10:49 am

    oh that’s an easy one! let’s see; I, a, the, hi, to, for, as, is,… etc.

    Reply
  6. Vinny -  April 1, 2012 - 6:46 am

    Interesting to know about the Ngram viewer, no idea it existed. :-)

    Reply
  7. Never to return -  March 19, 2012 - 12:55 pm

    LIKE I LIKE TOTALY LIKE THE WORD TOTALY

    Reply
  8. #7 -  March 16, 2012 - 6:49 pm

    Jake on March 10, 2012 at 8:22 pm
    every third word, americans will say one of these words:
    like
    like
    like
    like
    like
    like
    like
    like
    like
    like
    like
    like
    like
    like
    like
    like
    or
    like.
    *knowledge is power*

    Read more at http://hotword.dictionary.com/commonwords/#3PZegijDoQct795Z.99

    HOW DARE HE! (I ASSUME HE) ONLY WIERD POPULAR GIRLS SAY “LIKE” AFTER EVERY WORD! I’d be ok with the comment if he just said SOME PEOPLE, but blaming it all on Americans is NOT OK.

    Reply
  9. jack -  March 13, 2012 - 4:01 pm

    what about like. imean like its used like, a lot, like u kno what im sayn?

    Reply
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