June 19, 2006 Archives

19 June 2006

The Marriage of Figaro

We went to see Mozart's Marriage of Figaro on Saturday at His Majesty's Theatre, Aberdeen. This was the first time that either of us had seen an opera, so it was certainly an interesting experience. The production was put on by Opera North. The music and the singing were excellent, and the costumes and sets were sufficient for their purpose.

On the downside, the seating (in the Balcony) was incredibly uncomfortable, primarily due to the negative leg room. The most noticeable differences between Opera and the musicals I have seen, is that none of the songs seem to have stuck in my head, and because I couldn't pick out every word (particularly when multiple characters were singing simultaneously) I was less able to appreciate the passion/emotion, and felt much less moved than with, say, Les Miserables.

Rating: 3/5

Posted by Robert Hart | Permanent Link

19 June 2006

It's only words

The most common question I've had showing my thesis to lay people is: "How many words is it?"

The answer is of course "Depends how you count them", but is something like 48,000. There are (very) approximately 4900 different words, meaning that on average each word comes up just under 10 times. (It's hard to count accurately count unique words because things like equations (and LaTeX markup) throw in a lot of junk that can't really be considered words).

In fact some words come up a lot more often than that:

3829:   the
2149:   of
1324:   a
1274:   and
1160:   to
1038:   is
866:    in
595:    for
453:    fire
391:    be
375:    this
350:    as
316:    mist
306:    with
306:    model
304:    are
295:    by
292:    was
281:    that
255:    on
In other words 25% of my thesis is made up of just eight words, and none of those words are specific to the topic!

The longest (unhyphenated word) is "indistinguishable" (17 letters) followed by "parameterisation" and "destratification" (16 letters). The median length is just 3.9 letters. The distribution of word length is:

1: 1885
2: 7926
3: 8518
4: 6740
5: 4453
6: 3488
7: 3384
8: 3170
9: 2221
10: 1827
11: 1304
12: 638
13: 311
14: 152
15: 40
16: 9
17: 1
(equations boost the 1-letter count considerably)

Posted by Robert Hart | Permanent Link | Categories: PhD