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Stalling for Time

  by Gary Noesner

(about 334 pages)
total words
of all the books in our library
of all the books in our library
passive voice
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all adverbs
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of all the books in our library
of all the books in our library

clippings from this book

We’ve analyzed hundreds of millions of words, from thousands of different authors, training our linguistic models to recognize the most vivid words in the English language… the words that create the most intense sensory experiences: colors, textures, sounds, flavors, and aromas.

Based on our analysis, we’ve scanned through the pages of this book to find the two pages at the extremes, both the most-passive and the most-vivid pages, so that you can compare them side-by-side and see the difference:

cell integration. All high-security inmates will be transferred out of L Block, as has been done in Cellblock K. The procedure for early release will be reviewed and changed if warranted. An attempt will be made to reduce overcrowding. Policies involving inappropriate supervision will be rigidly enforced. Medical staff will be reviewed. Plans to install a new phone system will be speeded up. Work opportunities will be evaluated and improved. There will be no retaliation against rebelling inmates. Policies concerning mail and visitor privileges will be reviewed. Prompt transfer will be conducted for those eligible. An attempt will be made to improve communications between inmates and officials. Commissary prices will be reviewed. The Ohio Department of Health will be contacted about tuberculosis testing. The FBI will monitor prisoners’ processing to ensure that their civil rights are upheld. Prisoners’ requests to be transferred out of state will be taken seriously if those inmates can prove an Ohio prison cannot provide a safe environment for them. I was pleased that the inmates were now focused on reasonable and obtainable objectives, but this list of demands wasn’t going to be an easy sell. The prison tactical teams were not in a conciliatory mood, especially after the murder of their colleague. Warden Tate had his doubts, too, until I pointed out to him the way each point was qualified with phrases such as “an attempt will be made,” “will be reviewed,” “will speed up,” “changed if warranted,” and “will be taken seriously.” It was get hungry, bored, and tired. I suggested that prison employees begin frying bacon and brewing coffee, the smells of which would provide a powerful incentive for the inmates to come out from behind their barricades. This concept of “aromatic warfare,” as I called it, had been used effectively by the NYPD in the 1970s, when Frank Bolz once fried bacon in the hallway of a house where he knew the barricaded subject was hungry. The next day, at lunchtime, correctional officers set up a large outdoor grill not far from the front of Alpha Unit. Ostensibly, the grill was there to cook hamburgers for the officers in their riot gear, standing as a visible containment line around the facility. They tried not to obviously flaunt the food, but clearly inmates would be able to see and smell the grill. That night, our Spanish-speaking negotiator, Pedro Toledo, continued to call in, and at last his persistence paid off. An inmate picked up the phone and said, “We want to talk. Outside. Right now.” This was our first real breakthrough in days, so Pedro and I immediately left the administration building and started walking across the courtyard. Correctional officers had erected mobile units with floodlights that shone on the walls of Alpha Unit. We could see the inmates in their blue denim prison uniforms emerging from the steel inner door of the unit and gathering against the heavy bars of the outer door. With their tattoos, head scarves, and occasional missing teeth

emotional story arc

Click anywhere on the chart to see the most significant emotional words — both positive & negative — from the corresponding section of the text…
This chart visualizes the the shifting emotional balance for the arc of this story, based on the emotional strength of the words in the prose, using techniques pioneered by the UVM Computational Story Lab. To create this story arc, we divided the complete manuscript text into 50 equal-sized chunks, each with 1670.56 words, and then we scored each section by counting the number of strongly-emotional words, both positive and negative. The bars in the chart move downward whenever there’s conflict and sadness, and they move upward when conflicts are resolved, or when the characters are happy and content. The size of each bar represents the positive or negative word-count of that section.

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