Wednesday, December 3, 2014

The Cumulative Effect of Of, The, And, and To

A brief but notable gem from ellispratt on the Aviary:
Peter Norvig has some interesting statistics on word frequency in the English language Four words - the of and to - account for 16.94% of the words we write. If you include the need to press the space bar, these four common words require an average 3.5 key presses on a QWERTY keyboard. Steno requires one. In the field I work in, technical communication, a Technical Writer spends 50% of their time writing (the rest on researching, planning etc). Adjusting for the fact that these four common words are half the length of an average word in English, that means they spend an average of 19 minutes every day (1 hr 35 mins in a 37.5 hr week) typing those four words on a QWERTY keyboard! With Steno, I estimate it would take just under 5 and a half minutes/day (27 mins a week).


Ryan said...

Maybe be like mark kislingbury and write them in 0.5 strokes (with 2 per stroke). I envy that 375 WPM speed of his. :P

gdwarner said...

I try to phrase those whenever I can!