Musings —01.04.2011 11:03 AM—
What the Globe doesn’t advise its readers about, to my surprise, is either (a) how the methodology in that poll is suspect and (b) that “Word Clouds” can be manipulated any which way you like. They do not represent a benign or random sampling of words in a given piece of text – but a lot of people seem to have been fooled into thinking they do.
Up above is one I just did, using my bio page. It took me five seconds to mess around with it, and change what had been automatically generated. You can do it, too, here.
Bottom line: beware the Word Cloud. They’re fun, but they’re not science.