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05 SEPTEMBER 2014

The Largest Vocabulary in Hip hop

"Literary elites love to rep Shakespeare's vocabulary: across his entire corpus, he uses 28,829 words, suggesting he knew over 100,000 words and arguably had the largest vocabulary, ever.

I decided to compare this data point against the most famous artists in hip hop. I used each artist's first 35,000 lyrics. That way, prolific artists, such as Jay–Z, could be compared to newer artists, such as Drake.

35,000 words covers 3–5 studio albums and EPs. I included mixtapes if the artist was just short of the 35,000 words. Quite a few rappers don't have enough official material to be included (e.g., Biggie, Kendrick Lamar). As a benchmark, I included data points for Shakespeare and Herman Melville, using the same approach (35,000 words across several plays for Shakespeare, first 35,000 of Moby Dick).

I used a research methodology called token analysis to determine each artist's vocabulary. Each word is counted once, so pimps, pimp, pimping, and pimpin are four unique words. To avoid issues with apostrophes (e.g., pimpin' vs. pimpin), they're removed from the dataset. It still isn't perfect. Hip hop is full of slang that is hard to transcribe (e.g., shorty vs. shawty), compound words (e.g., king shit), featured vocalists, and repetitive choruses.

It's still directionally interesting. Of the 85 artists in the dataset, let's take a look at who is on top."

(Matt Daniels, May 2014)

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TAGS

benchmark • big vocabulary • choice of words • corpus • cultural expressiondatasetdictiondigital humanitiesEnglish languageexpressive repertoireexpressive vocabulary • extensive vocabulary • Herman Melville • hip-hop • lexicomane • lyrics • Matt Daniels • Moby Dick • musicnaming • pimp • raprapperresearch method • sesquipedalian • slang • speaking vocabulary • token analysis • use of wordsvocabularyWilliam Shakespeareword heapwords

CONTRIBUTOR

Simon Perkins
03 MARCH 2014

This American Life: Ira Glass on good taste and making good work

Kinetic type interpretation of "Ira Glass on Storytelling, part 3 of 4" by David Shiyang Liu.

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TAGS

2009advice for studentsAfter Effects • artful elegance • beginners • craftsmanship • creative beginnings • creative potentialcreative skillscreative visioncreative work • encouragement • encouraging advice • expressive repertoiregood tasteindividual experience • Ira Glass • kinetic type • kinetic typographylong-term successmasterymotion graphicsmotion typeperseverance • personal ambition • personal taste • public radio • Public Radio International (PRI) • quit • radio production • radio show • sage advice • skilful masteryskill • skill-building • skilled behaviourskillful copingtaste (sociology) • This American Life (radio show) • visual interpretationwriting tips

CONTRIBUTOR

Simon Perkins
11 FEBRUARY 2013

George Orwell: Politics and the English Language

"Dying metaphors. A newly invented metaphor assists thought by evoking a visual image, while on the other hand a metaphor which is technically 'dead' (e.g. iron resolution) has in effect reverted to being an ordinary word and can generally be used without loss of vividness. But in between these two classes there is a huge dump of worn–out metaphors which have lost all evocative power and are merely used because they save people the trouble of inventing phrases for themselves. Examples are: Ring the changes on, take up the cudgel for, toe the line, ride roughshod over, stand shoulder to shoulder with, play into the hands of, no axe to grind, grist to the mill, fishing in troubled waters, on the order of the day, Achilles' heel, swan song, hotbed. Many of these are used without knowledge of their meaning (what is a 'rift,' for instance?), and incompatible metaphors are frequently mixed, a sure sign that the writer is not interested in what he is saying. Some metaphors now current have been twisted out of their original meaning without those who use them even being aware of the fact. For example, toe the line is sometimes written as tow the line. Another example is the hammer and the anvil, now always used with the implication that the anvil gets the worst of it. In real life it is always the anvil that breaks the hammer, never the other way about: a writer who stopped to think what he was saying would avoid perverting the original phrase."

(George Orwell)

George Orwell (1950). "Shooting an Elephant and Other Essays", Secker & Warburg Publishers, UK.

TAGS

1946allusion • artful • clarity of thoughtcliche • colloquial lexicon • common metaphorscommunicationcomprehending language • connotation • dying metaphors • EnglishEnglish language • evocative power • expressionexpressive repertoirefigurative languagefigure of speechGeorge Orwellhackneyedidiomimaginative metaphorsindirect reference • inventing phrases • languagelanguage developmentlazinessliteraturemental imagemetaphor • mixed metaphor • ordinary word • poetic devices • poetic functionsentence • tired expressions • use of wordsverbal freshness • visual image • vividness • worn-out • writing • writing style • writing tips

CONTRIBUTOR

Simon Perkins
17 OCTOBER 2011

Laban Movement Analysis: qualitative aspects of nonverbal behaviour

"Laban Movement Analysis (LMA) originated in the work of Rudolf Laban, and has evolved into a highly detailed practical system that describes qualitative aspects of nonverbal behavior. In its current development, it operates as a phenomenology of movement and mind, as it requires that the observer look at the movement itself, prior to interpretation and without prejudice, while acknowledging the intrinsic connection between movement and subjective experience. Movement Analysis increases kinesthetic sensitivity for the observer, because it places in the foreground of the observer's experience, those aspects of movement which are individual–specific: that is, those movement choices which an individual makes within a particular context. Movement Analysis as a system of observation assumes that a significant degree of individual freedom in movement quality is always present within biological, cultural, and contextually defined bodily repertoires."

(Janet Kaylo)

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attunementbodies in spacebodily engagement • bodily repertoires • body experiencechoreographycorporealdance performance • dance therapy • everyday movementexpressive repertoirefigures in spaceforensic detail • freedom of movement • intimacyintimateintimate movement • kinaesthetic sensitivity • kinesthetic • kinesthetic participation • kinetic exchange • Laban Movement Analysis • language for describing movement • LMA • movementmovement analysis • movement analysis methodology • movement and subjective experience • movement efficiency • movement experience • movement life • movement lives • movement performance • movement quality • movement vocabulary • nonverbal behaviourobservationpatterns of movement • phenomenology of mind • phenomenology of movement • physical presenceposturepuppetryreal-life • Rudolf Laban • seeing • seeing another • sensitivity to others • sensory abilitysubtlety • system of observation • theatre performance • therapeutic • understanding movementwatching

CONTRIBUTOR

Elisza Ribeiro
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