My next task, friends, is to edit each of the hyphenated words – I’ll be going in order – to let you know what OED says of them. Please feel free to read along as your fancy is struck.
Word Fans, I have done it! All the way from “cellar” to “tobacco-jar“, I have scanned for all the food words, common and uncommon, and entered them into the concordance. I’m certain to have missed some, and I am humbly ready to call this my First Pass. Alert Readers who put me wise to food words I have missed will have a verse written in their honor in the style of the Tra-la-la-lalley Elves.
Let it be noted that I have already had a good argument with myself over “supplies”, and have decided that it’s not a food word. It is used in “food-supplies”, which is counted separately, and in all other instances can indicate “bandages” as well as it stands for “food”.
Next I will make some lovely graphs of food words. I’m interested in their frequency and location in the text; I also have an idea in the back of my mind to do a deeper analysis including a negative valence for those times that food words indicate a lack of food.
As I made this first pass, I also took the chance to improve my file of the text. I’ve eliminated many of the phrase-breaks which left only one-word phrases, fussed with punctuation breaks, and started keeping an eye out for use or non-use of a marked subjunctive.
I’ve been amazed, as I read this wonderful text so closely, to see how JRRT does not flag the subjunctive when he could. I suspect it will be the subject of a later study.
- [12.019] as if it was an old volcano that had made up its mind
You may have noticed that we passed the landmark of spilling over onto the fifth column of words in the Concordance. When we did that, the fifth column words at the end of the alphabet seemed squished, as though that column didn’t have its fair share of space. Our final word “zig-zag” was broken at the hyphen, in fact.
Tech Support assured me that the word-spacings exert a kind of Pixel Pressure on one another and that as more words enter the fifth column, the space will be shared more equitably. Sure enough, only six words into it, “zig-zag” is all on one line. Of course, your own browser may be displaying it all in Klingon for all I know.
All this is to say, Happy 1600 Words, Word Fans – and here’s to many more to come!
[08.050] hoist their empty sacks and packs, and trudge along the track
Great news! On the About page, you can always find listed the tools which have been created for this project. As of yesterday, Tech Support added Concordance-Reversed.py to the Digital Humanities Toolkit.
Concordance.py will take your text and strip out a set of Stop Words. It’s what I used to strip out the Ten Thousand most common words from The Hobbit.
Concordance-reversed.py will strip out everything but a set of Go Words! It’s what I’m using now to find specific lemmas, such as Fish, Fishes, Fish’s, Fishes’, Fished, Fishing. Put all the different forms of your lemma into a text file of Go Words, and you’re on your way!
I love you, Tech Support, from your grateful Mama.
I’ve updated our entry for “Pony” to indicate the goblins’ and Smaug’s inclination to regard these creatures as food.