I mentioned two days ago the very nice tool for mapping word-use in presidential inaugural addresses, created by Jonathan Feinberg of IBM.
I should have mentioned the underlying open-ended tool Wordle, also by Feinberg, which allows you to create "word clouds" from any arbitrary piece of text (or web feed etc). You can find it here, and I've used it just now to create clouds from two recent Atlantic web posts. This is how one recent post about obesity-and-class looks when word frequency is converted to graphics (most of the contents here comes from readers' letters; click for larger):
And here is how my post from a few hours ago about David Petraeus's comments looks with a slightly different layout scheme:
No cosmic point here, but interesting. Try it out -- an email from the boss, company vision statement, etc.
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James Fallows is a staff writer at The Atlantic and has written for the magazine since the late 1970s. He has reported extensively from outside the United States and once worked as President Jimmy Carter's chief speechwriter. He and his wife, Deborah Fallows, are the authors of the 2018 book Our Towns: A 100,000-Mile Journey Into the Heart of America, which was a national best seller and is the basis of a forthcoming HBO documentary.