12 November 2005

Book numbers

To me, Amazon's SIPs always seemed linguistically interesting but demotically useless. Reading languagehat's passing along of the concept of using SIPs as book summaries, I decided to try it on a book that has increased in value since I'd read it: Stephenson's Cryptonomicon. I'm still ambivalent about their usefulness.

However, while revisiting them, I found that Amazon has added--I believe relatively recently--two additional metrics. Along with SIPs, entries have CAPs: capitalized phrases. To these, a Concordance and Text Stats have been added. The Concordance contains the 100 most frequently used words using that recently popular technique of varying font size with importance. The Text Stats contains measures of relative complexity, readability, and various counts and "fun stats." According to Amazon's measurements, Cryptonomicon is easy to read and not all that complex, but you get over 50,000 words per dollar! This is ideal for anyone who has obsessively checked the text stats of their writing in MS Word.

[ posted by sstrader on 12 November 2005 at 10:53:53 AM in Language & Literature ]