What are the most frequently used words in the English language?
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- Tue, 04-08-2015
There are millions of people in the world using English in everyday life, they think, they communicate with people, they write, you can’t live without language. Have you ever thought about this question: what are the most frequently used words in English? Well, there’s a person had, and also did a research trying to find out the answer.
In 1965, researcher Mark Mayzner published Tables of Single-letter and Digram Frequency Counts for Various Word-length and Letter-position Combinations. His work studied the frequency of letter combinations in English words using a corpus of 20,000 words; it has been cited in hundreds of articles by now.
In December 2012, 85 years old Mayzner contacted a research director Peter Norvig at Google. He wanted to see if it’s possible to use the Google Corpus Data to expand and produce such tables as he constructed 50 years ago. Norvig did exactly that.
Recently, YouTube user Abacaba created a brilliant visualization of the results. Try to guess the top 3 before you start watching the video. Maybe you are as genius as the data. Or if you can’t wait to see the result, check the top 50 in the following diagram: