Lybrel, Schools, and Word Frequencies

Wednesday, May 23rd, 2007

I found these two strange articles in the paper and had a sense that certain words were repeated, either for emphasis or because of the nature and contexts of the subjects. I decided to use Daniel Steinbock’s TagCrowd application to test what I sensed from the reading. Here’s a link to the article on Hartford’s schools. Here’s the link to the article on new products for women.

The frequency for the first example reveals the repetition of the words “school” and “schools.” This repetition in the reading made for a sense that schools are going to spread like bubbles in Hartford. The article hints at the superintendent’s plans (Adamowski and plan are also repeated signifiers) to reorganize the school system into several types of schools. “Schools on” this theme and “schools on” that theme scaffolded the article.

created at TagCrowd.com

The idea of “more schools” stands out in the article. “Learning” and “well-being” are never mentioned.

My sense of the second article was that “bleeding” and “period” would have high frequency. This sense may be explained by the oddness of the subject from my own perspective. It seems presumptuous to me that such a pill would be devised in the first place. Then again, research and development in this area seems logical in an era of performance enhancing pills for men.

Lybrel, from Wyeth Pharmaceuticals, takes the trend to its logical conclusion by attempting to suppress periods altogether.

“Why have a period at all?” asked Dr. Gerardo Bustillo, assistant chief of obstetrics and gynecology at Orange Coast Memorial Medical Center in Fountain Valley, Calif.

I don’t know. I’m sure there’s some reason. Maybe medical school exams ask the question, too. Why not a drug that will grow one of my fingers into a penis or eliminate nuisance facial hair?

created at TagCrowd.com

In the second case, it’s the product that stands out. “Consequences” gets a tiny glow. “Women,” “period,” “pills.”


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