January 27, 2005

I'm ranked...

My name is ranked 6,810th on wordcount's list of the top words in the English language. Over 85K words have been ranked by usage by Jonathan Harris, and there I am, right between differing and athelstan. 'Athelstan,' you say? That's what I said.

According to the Canadian Oxford Dictionary, Athelstan was "the king of Wessex and Mercia for 15 years beginning in 924 AD. One of the most successful of England's Anglo-Saxon monarchs, he invaded both Scotland and Wales and inflicted heavy defeat on an invading Danish army."

Apparently, it's also a city in Iowa, population 31. Ooh, and a mountain here in BC.

So how the heck does 'athelstan' outrank words like 'troubled,' 'choir' or 'sweater'? Sure, there are plenty of history geeks around, but enough to vault His Grace's moniker 10,000 places over 'cinemas'? The answer, my friends, is that there are plenty of people out there who got better grades in history class than you did; google 'athelstan' and you get more than just rumours that Athelstan was actually a bastard, born to Edward the Elder before becoming England's first proper king. You'll find out that the man was responsible for the development of social order in Britain, and fostered international relations by marrying his half-sisters (bastard alert!) to various European nobles.

Oh, and check out The Athelstan Arms Pub and Athelstan Publications -- if naming an online bookseller or small town pub after an obscure regent isn't enough for you, how about your firstborn? According to this page about baby names, your son Athelstan will either be 'a natural leader,' an 'eccentric, introverted thinker' or 'artistic, social and cheerful.' Jeez, hedge your bets much? "Your kid'll either be tallish, shortish or kinda fair to middlin'-ish."

Anyway, back to the point. I'm ranked.


Nathan Frampton said...

Interesting stuff you have here. Check me out at nathanframpton.blogspot.com, we have some interesting banter. You may want to join blog clicker to get more traffic on your blog. I have a link on my site if you are interested.

Desiree said...

I looked at that ranking thing tonight... interesting. I do have to wonder too how some words outrank others... was this a subjective project, I wonder, where did the guy that created this come up with his rankings? hmmm.... and a further question, how shall I sleep tonight thinking about the ranking of words?