I would like to just start off by saying, man, that guy who wrote the article against word clouds is a real downer. He “dies a little inside” every time he see’s one? Come on Jacob Harris, be a little more dramatic, please. Anyway, I personally enjoyed the simplicity and usefulness of word clouds especially on the Voyant website. I submitted the text from “A Case of Identity” and was not really surprised at my findings. The words “Holmes” and “Said” were written 46 and 45 times. Not much of a surprise there. An interesting things was the addition of last names. Holmes obviously being the biggest since he is the most important character smaller names also provide detail and allows the viewer to see which characters are of utmost importance and which are subsequently less important. The word “typewritten” appeared six times throughout the story and for a second I wondered why, six seemed like quite a lot. Then I remembered that is exactly how Holmes solved the case in the end. Once clicking on the word “typewritten” I saw the pattern where it was mentioned here and there starting in the middle and then one last time at the end signifying he had solved the case.
I enjoyed using this and I do believe that it is helpful. Jacob Harris clearly has some residual feelings or some bad experiences with word clouds because they shouldn’t cause anyone to die a little inside unless you somehow found one for your own eulogy. That might be sad. Clearly a map of deaths and casualties in Bagdad would serve a better purpose than a word cloud on the subject but that is kind of biased example to use…Jacob. I think that it could be very useful in many situations, seeing patterns of certain authors and various other writing styles.
In the end, word clouds are neither mullets or man buns. They are in fact just an ordinary haircut, what matters is who is rocking that hair cut that makes or breaks it. I mean, Brad Pitt could rock any haircut, find a better example Jacob and calm down a bit.
Brad Pitt would be a great word cloud.