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Funny Farm

  by Laurie Zaleski


(about 282 pages)
70,616
total words
of all the books in our library
58.80%
vividness
of all the books in our library
7.02%
passive voice
of all the books in our library
2.99%
all adverbs
of all the books in our library
1.04%
ly-adverbs
of all the books in our library
1.95%
non-ly-adverbs
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:

MOST PASSIVE PAGE
MOST VIVID PAGE
said, “all you’ve got to do is bid against the contractor”—in other words, go up for the job against the people who had hired me. “I can do that?” “Of course you can. It’s an open bidding process. If you’re qualified—and I think you arethen apply for the contract yourself.” Even then, I hesitated to take such a bold step, and tried one more time to make peace with my employers. I approached them with a proposal: I would stay on as their manager, but only if they honored their word and raised my hourly rate back to what it had been. Otherwise, they could consider me a competitor. “You don’t have to do it right away, just give me a quarter to start,” I said. “All I want to know is that we’re moving in the right direction.” If they had agreed, it’s possible I would be running their company today. But they dismissed me. I think in their view, because I looked like a twentysomething Barbie doll, I wasn’t to be taken seriously. I was inconsequential. A beginner who could be easily bamboozled. But I had two things going for me: my mother, who would probably have disowned me if I had given in, and pride, both in my work ethic and my ability. I worked up a bid for the graphic arts contract. And I lost. At that point, I would have felt justified giving up. But darn it, I knew my offer was in her wardrobe: a pair of crocheted, teal-colored hot pants and matching halter top that she wore with patent leather heels or white go-go boots, to show off her gorgeous legs, and pantyhose that made her skin feel like an emery board. Mom didn’t go in for jewelry much, but was thrilled when Dad gave her a ranch mink stole. Back then—before she learned how minks are farmed—she could hardly wait for cold weather so she could wear her stole without being called stuck-up. Best of all, Mom was very musical. I loved it when she played the grand piano in our living room, singing tunes from Broadway shows. Our folks were so highly regarded that when they gave a party, it was in the society page of the local newspaper: “Professor and Mrs. Richard Zaleski entertained at home on Saturday…” Then it would mention all the personages who stopped by. Mom was the hostess with the mostest. When guests were expected, she would prepare all her specialties—curried crab canapés, ham and macaroni bake, smothered pork chops, and for dessert, a fluorescent orange Jell-O party mold, with grapes and maraschino cherries suspended inside the quivering mass. She contributed all these recipes to the Camden County College Faculty Wives Association cookbook, called Food for Thought. On those party evenings, she would wear her favorite creation, a low-cut red velvet dress with a slit skirt and a neckline edged with seed pearls. It just matched our red shag carpet

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 1412.32 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.

similar books by different authors

other books by Laurie Zaleski

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