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The Long Tail of English usage

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As I started reading the Web 2.0 mindmap, I got myself introduced to The Long Tail today and will definitely read the book with the same title by Chris Andersen.

Before I could look towards getting myself a copy of the book, I quickly went to Wikipedia to check about The Long Tail. Possibly common knowledge that the most common place occurrence of The Long Tail distribution occurs in the English language. For example in standard English, the word "the" is the most common word and other short words such as "of," "is," and "have" are also quite common. These common words are vastly more common than most other words. The rare words are the long tail in English vocabulary.

Are you interested to try out what rank words on your english vocabulary are - Go here to access WordCount for a simple and elegant interface to check this out. Also remember to check QueryCount on the same site here - checkout for yourself what words people are check for usage frequency.

The book itself titled The Long Tail was ranked the best of 2006 by Amazon - Is on my reading list and its right up there :)

Top 10 Editors' Picks: Business

Topping our list of the best business books of 2006, The Long Tail started as a short magazine article. When Wired editor Chris Anderson originally published his December 2004 piece arguing that technology had fundamentally changed profitability equations by lowering distribution costs and increasing viability of virtually unlimited product choices, he didn’t realize the seismic shift he'd trigger. Companies' views of and approaches to market segmentation have flipped dramatically. Anderson's concept of many mini-niche markets making up larger mainstream ones points to the importance of the "tail" in statistical distributions--and the increasing length of those tails in industries as diverse as media, clothing, and food. This book springs from a much deeper follow-up look that Anderson took while on sabbatical from his journalism job, and contains many helpful insights for businesses looking to spot the proverbial diamonds in the rough. See more editors' picks and customers' favorites in our Best of 2006 Store.

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