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Lessons from the Edge

  by Marie Yovanovitch

(about 611 pages)
total words
of all the books in our library
of all the books in our library
passive voice
of all the books in our library
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:

it didn’t appear to me that Pompeo was willing to risk the questions that would come if the president were to fire me by tweet. At the end of the difficult conversation, I got the second piece of good news. Sullivan insisted, We want to treat you respectfully, honorably. Although that ship had sailed a long time ago, it appeared to me that Sullivan at least meant it, and he asked me to talk to Carol about my next assignment. It obviously wasn’t going to be another ambassadorship, but I was relieved that I would have another job and that I wouldn’t have to worry about a paycheck. Of course, this wasn’t altruism. The president could strip me of an ambassadorship, but the department couldn’t fire me from the Foreign Service without cause, and Sullivan had repeatedly stated there was no cause. But for the administration there was a silver lining to my continued employment in the department: I couldn’t talk to the press without permission, and I couldn’t talk to Congress without permission. I could be controlled. Better to keep me inside the tent. Once again I realized that I was being managed. It’s embarrassing to admit, but I was crying throughout the conversation. I had spent the past three months compartmentalizing, pretending that the baseless attacks didn’t really matter—that everyone would eventually see them for what they were and everything would return to normal. But Sullivan was telling me that principle would not prevail. I was being from home. Even at sunrise the dry heat seemed to make every color starker: the hot yellow sun, the cloudless blue sky hanging over the darker blue ocean, the flamboyant pink bougainvillea growing wild on the streets. Above all there were endless shades of whitefading whitewashed walls, the dirty white of the desert sand reclaiming the dusty and barely paved roads, and the hospital white of the traditional sarong-like clothing many Somali men wore. When the city awakened, a cacophony of sounds arose with it. Many sounded surprisingly rural for a metropolis of about one million: roosters crowing; goats and sheep bleating as they ambled off to graze; donkeys, mules, and horses braying; and the occasional camel bellowing as it carried its cargo. But there were city sounds too: the hum of conversation mixed with the din of buses and cars in various stages of disrepair, struggling to keep going as drivers leaned on their horns to warn people and livestock to move out of the way. The smells were no less overwhelming. Animal odors mingled with the stench of burning garbage, the only way most people could get rid of their refuse. Countering those unwelcome fumes were the sweet smells of breakfast emanating from open-air kitchens and the ever-present scent of frankincense, used to freshen up clothing in a place where water was at a premium and washing clothes was an all-day chore. It was a vibrant but completely foreign landscape for me, alien except for one sensation

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 3053.50 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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