Self-Aware Metablogging: A Content Analysis of the "Epic Touch"

As our blog gains both volume and tenacity, I've found myself wondering if our writing styles have begun to bleed into each other. Convinced that, collectively, we use words like "ridiculous" and "inexplicably" in a far higher proportion than the average population, I set out to do a content analysis of all the adjectives and adverbs that we've used so far on the entire blog. Needless to say, this task proved too gargantuan, and was scrapped in its infancy. The concept remained in my head, however. And so, on a particularly slow day at work, I decided to narrow my search to adverbs, which, while perhaps less interesting than adjectives, were much easier to find and catalog (mo
stly thanks to a document search of "ly"). Even with a technological crutch, compiling this list took me an embarrassing amount of time, and might end up yielding very little substance. But I'm going to SHINE ON anyway.

With that, here are the most commonly used adverbs on our entire blog archives, in descending order (each must have had at least five mentions to make the cut). It's worth noting that I disqualified "only" and "really" from this list.

25 Totally
22 Actually
15 Probably
12 Entirely
11 Simply
8 Seriously
8 Certainly

7 Ultimately
7 Truly
7 Rarely
7 Possibly
7 Decidedly
7 Clearly
7 Additionally
7 Absolutely
6 Surely
6 Particularly
6 Officially
6 Merely
6 Literally
6 Incredibly
6 Importantly
6 Especially
5 Undeniably
5 Recently
5 Inexplicably
5 Apparently

Aside from confirming my suspicion that we have a prodigious vocabulary, what does this list tell us about ourselves? First, as if it comes as any surprise, we use "totally" a lot. It's unclear how many times these "totally"s were followed by "sweet"s, but we'll disregard that for our current analysis. The word "totally," however, fits into a bigger trend in this list of adverbs. I've bolded the words that fit together into a poignant conceptual theme. This revised list gives us a clearer picture of what I consider the "Epic Touch." All of the bolded words, which comprise the majority of this list, emphasize the veracity, totality, and indisputability of things. We at Epic Mail concern ourselves only with the most epic of matters. And, it seems, we often assert facts as well as opinions with emphatic adverbs that might even flirt with hyperbole. And I wouldn't have it any other way. Clearly, we're definitively and surely the most undeniably total and ultimate blog of all time.

And just for fun, here's some of the more ridiculous, if less often used, adverbs that emerged in this research:

ashamedly; bi-semesterly; boorishly; chivalrously; daintily; enchantingly; heart-meltingly; mind-bogglingly; outlandishly; sedulously; semi-professionally

This is but a brief gloss, so I'm looking forward to any secondary analysis that our mailers can provide.



In fact, I think that "rarely," "merely" and "simply" are the only ones which did NOT appear before "sweet."

Coaltrain said...

Artfully done, Andy.

Edgar Keats said...

I'm surprised we've never used "sweetly"

devan said...

as soon as i began reading this post, and before i scrolled down to the bottom, i knew without a doubt who posted it. i would have bet my entire life savings (which is admittedly about $150 right now, but still).

Hot Eatz said...

this whole thing is just inexplicably ridiculous

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