ENG287 – January 23 , 2013 Instructor – A. Hammond
Reading by Numbers
There has been a historic dislike of measuring art and literature in a quantitative way
Quantitative data is sharable and therefore is objective not subjective like qualitative data.
There is just the hypothesis but no proof.
No matter what, literature cannot be reduced to the quantifiable.
E-books give you less of both quantitative and qualitative data.
First quantitative data look-up will deal strictly with numbers.
Quantitative formula for studying literature. Type over Token multiplied by 100. A type is
unique but can be used to make tons of copies. The token is the copy of the unique original.
Think of the type as the press and the token as the multiple things that are made from the
Unique words over total number of words multiplied by a hundred.
Type/Token ratio of the text on slide 16 – 20%. The type is ‘Jerry’ the token is ‘5’ therefore
the type token ratio is 20%.
TTR of slide 18 – 100% because each word is different and therefore is no repetition. 6
types, 6 tokens.
TTR tells us the extent of vocabulary used in the work and the variety of vocabulary.
How diverse, how much variation is in the language that the particular author uses. There is
a temptation to say that the higher the ratio the ‘better’ the text. That is not necessarily the
There is a relation between the length of a text and its TTR because there is less