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Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 65.djvu/147

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143
CHARACTERISTIC CURVES OF COMPOSITION.

Table IV.

PSM V65 D147 Word analysis of dryden work.png

Here not only are five thousand words sufficient to indicate that the invariable curves for the two kinds of writing differ essentially, but the number of four-letter words alone in any single thousand seems to characterize the drama from the essay.

It seemed hardly necessary to augment these data which may seem to the reader more than adequate to establish the multiplicity of the PSM V65 D147 Word curves of goldsmith works.pngFig. 14. Two 5,000 Word-curves from Goldsmith. (Table III.) (A) Drama 'She Stoops to Conquer,' (B) Essay 'Present State of Polite Learning in Europe.' so-called characteristic curves of an author. Still I ventured another test. Suppose several five-thousand word-curves from different dramatic works of an author were constructed, and again several five-thousand word-curves of various other prose productions as criticism or history by the same author. Suppose it were found that each set of curves agrees in the main, but differ, in essential respects, from all the curves of the other set, could this be interpreted otherwise than that the nature of the composition is the determining factor of the curves? With this thought in mind, I tabulated four additional groups of five thousand words each from Goethe, two groups each taken from single works, the other two groups made up of single thousands from each of ten different productions. These together with the five thousand averages previously obtained from the 'B├╝rgergeneral' and 'Literatur Recensionen' (B), are given in Table V., and the corresponding word-curves are given in Fig. 18. Fig. 19 shows the two curves which result if the entire fifteen thousand words are taken