Distribution of letters in the English language

Some letters in the English language appear more often in the beginning of words. Some appear more often at the end, and others show up in the middle. Using the Brown corpus from the Natural Language Toolkit, David Taylor looked closer at letter position and usage.

I’ve had many “oh, yeah” moments looking over the graphs. For example, words almost never begin with “x”, but it’s quite common as the second letter. There’s a little hump near the beginning of “u” that’s caused by its proximity to “q”, which is most common at the beginning of a word. When you remove “q” from the dataset, the hump disappears. “F” occurs toward the extremes, especially in prepositions (“for”, “from”, “of”, “off”) but rarely just before the middle.

Next step: letter proximity.


Reviving the Statistical Atlas of the United States with New Data

Due to budget cuts, there is no plan for an updated atlas. So I recreated the original 1870 Atlas using today’s publicly available data.

How You Will Die

So far we’ve seen when you will die and how other people tend to die. Now let’s put the two together to see how and when you will die, given your sex, race, and age.

Who is Older and Younger than You

Here’s a chart to show you how long you have until you start to feel your age.

The Most Unisex Names in US History

Moving on from the most trendy names in US history, …