Archive for the ‘Letter Usage’ Category

Life without “E”

July 30, 2007

“In counting the frequency of usage of the letter E in all English prose we will find that E constitutes 13% of all letters appearing, while W, for instance, constitutes only about 2% of all letters appearing.”

“In 1939, Ernest Vincent Wright published a 267-page novel, Gadsby, in which no use is made of the letter E.  I quote from a paragraph below:

Upon this basis I am going to show you how a bunch of bright young folks did find a champion: a man with boys and girls of his own; a man of so dominating and happy individuality that Youth is drawn to him as a fly is to a sugar bowl.  It is a story about a small town.  It is not a gossipy yarn; nor is it a dry, monotonous account, full of such customary ‘fill-ins’ as ‘romantic moonlight casting murky shadows down a long, winding country road.’  Nor will it say anything about twinklings lulling distant folds; robins carolling at twilight, nor any ‘warm glow of lamplight’ from a cabin window.  No.  It is an account of up-and-doing activity; a vivid portrayal of Youth as it is today; and a practical discarding of that wornout notion that a ‘child don’t know anything.'”

– An Introduction to Information Theory by John R. Pierce