August 2013 Archives

Moving to WordPress

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This site has been using Movable Type for the past 11 years, but today I have installed Word Press and will be using it from here on out. You might have to update your RSS Feed to

The first 11 years of my posts can still be found at for now. But from here on out, I'll be at the "new"

Thanks for following me!

The last few days I have been working on a post about word frequency, and as I was doing some research, I just happened to notice that "man" is a more common word in English than "woman". I was looking at three different corpora: the Corpus of Contemporary American English (COCA), the British National Corpus (BNC), and the Oxford English Corpus (OEC).

For the COCA and the OEC, if you count only nouns, "man" and "woman" rank as #6 and #8 in the COCA and #7 and #14 in the OEC (Word, n.d., The OEC, n.d.). The BNC stats I have don't break words down by Part of Speech, but overall, "man" is #152 and "woman" is #393 (The British, n.d.).

This made me wonder about the use of these words over time. My hypothesis was that in the past, "man" was a lot more common than "woman", but in recent years (at least since, say the 1970s and the women's lib movement, perhaps "woman" had increased in use while "man" decreased.

To test my idea, I used the Google Ngram Viewer and searched for "man+men" vs "woman+women", and sure enough, this is what I found. (Man+men is blue, woman+women is red. Click on the pic for a larger version.)


Sure enough, the red female line starts rising right around 1970.

To play with the data yourself, here is the link to the search on the Google Ngram Viewer website.


The British National Corpus, version 3 (BNC XML Edition). 2007. Distributed by Oxford University Computing Services on behalf of the BNC Consortium. URL:

The OEC: Facts about the language (n.d.). Retrieved 5 Aug 2013 from

Word Frequency Data. (n.d.) Retrieved 5 Aug 2013 from

Holy Grail Month 1

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After starting off the month with some New Half-Year Resolutions, I was doing pretty well until I decided to go to Hong Kong for a long weekend. That definitely threw off my schedule for all the things I wanted to be doing, such as exercising and studying Thai. Now I am back on schedule (more or less), but let's see what I accomplished last month:

Resolution 1: Read/Write/Study. I definitely wrote more on this website than I have in a long time. Last month's 10 posts were the most since February 2009 (almost 4.5 years ago). I also did a little bit of reading and studying, but actually my biggest accomplishment was getting my research databases set up. Now I just have to populate it!

Resolution 2: Exercise. According to my Runkeeper app, I exercised 18 times in July. Not a bad start, but I can definitely improve here. Some of those exercises were "just walking", but they are better than nothing, right? Unfortunately though, my body weight has not changed much at all. I was hoping to lose a noticeable amount of weight by the end of the year, but so far, none.

Resolution 3: Study Thai. I finally feel like I made some good progress on my goal of learning more vocabulary. I have been using Anki and Learning With Texts, as well as trying to chat with Thai friends in Thai on my iPhone. Since Anki is a spaced-repetition app, and I took a week or so off for my trip, I had a lot of catching up to do. But now I have caught up so I can get back to the sentence practice using LWT. In any case, here are my stats for one month of vocabulary practice:

Anki Stats:

  • Mature 706 (+391 from June 26)
  • Young+Learn: 235 (+55)
  • Unseen: 3298 (-365)
  • Mature/Learning %: 17% and 6%

LWT Stats:

  • Known: 779 (+569 from June 26)
  • Learning: 10 (-170)
  • Unknown: 6463 (+4462. Wow, I have added a lot to learn!)
  • Known/Learning %: 12% and 0%

So, all in all, I was fairly productive and successful in my daily goals. Let's see what August will bring!

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This page is an archive of entries from August 2013 listed from newest to oldest.

July 2013 is the previous archive.

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