A quick one, while he’s away

I will be away over the next two weekends, and won’t write any new post during that time. So to keep you amused a little bit during that time, let me show you a few text processors to play with. Processor here is to be understood as in “food processor”, not “word processor” — you input the text and something comes out at the other end.

The first one is called wordle. It allows you to create a word cloud from any text you input; the result is an arrangement of the text’s words, more frequent words appearing larger. The eagle-eyed reader will recognise it had been used to cloud my NaNoWriMo attempt. Here is Newton’s Opticks or, a Treatise of the Reflections, Refractions, Inflections, and Colours of Light, gracefully pinched from Project Gutenberg‘s mine of classical, copyright-free texts:

I could play for hours with that. Well, maybe not for hours, but it is pretty fascinating.

Quiz #1: From which book was the following cloud arranged?


The second one, from the same author as wordle, is called haikufinder. It takes a text and looks for sentences whose words fall in groups of 5, 7, and 5 syllables, then arranges them as haiku. Purists will deplore the absence of seasonal reference and cutting word, but let’s not be fussy about it.

Some examples again? Here are a few located in The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes:

But then, when I found
how I had betrayed myself,
I began to think.

You did not know where
to look, and so you missed all
that was important.

Some letters get more
worn than others, and some wear
only on one side.

Here is what the UK Highway Code yields:

If you have driven
through deep water your brakes may
be less effective.

Look out for people
getting off a bus or tram
and crossing the road.

And now is time for Quiz #2: from which book are taken the following three haikus?

Who was I? What was
I? Whence did I come? What was
my destination?

Who can describe their
horror and consternation
on beholding me?

On that night he had
determined to consummate
his crimes by my death.



About the quiet one

I ain't never ever had the gift of gab, but I can talk with my eyes. Words fail me, you won't nail me, my eyes can tell you lies. View all posts by the quiet one

7 responses to “A quick one, while he’s away

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