Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Snowmageddon 2010!!!

 
(image from AP)
As winter's fury descends yet again on the Metro DC area (and my personal list of words for snow grows even larger), two words are competing for the right to name this bloody awful event. Snowmageddon & Snowpocalypse. So which is it to be?  As of right now, Snowmageddon is leading the Google/Bing frequency counts. I'm not sure if Bing always gives higher counts, but my faith, what little there ever was, in Google counts is all but gone (see here, here, here for relevant discussion).

Snowmageddon = 801,000/1,880,000
Snowpocalypse = 375,000/1,060,00

UPDATE (02/13/2010): Snowmageddon maintains its lead.
Snowmageddon = 855,000/2,280,000
Snowpocalypse = 791,000/1,350,000

For what it's worth, I personally prefer Snowmageddon because the w-m transition seems more natural (i.e., in accord with English phonotactics) than the w-p transition. Diphones are the backbone of speech synthesis systems. Surely someone has published frequencies of diphone transitions, right? I found one paper referencing frequency counts but I haven't found the data.

Citation
Kuperman, V., Ernestus, M. and Baayen R. H. (2008). Frequency distributions of uniphones, diphones and triphones in spontaneous speech. The Journal of the Acoustical Society of America 124(6), 3897-3908.

5 comments:

D. Sky Onosson said...

fwiw, my cousin, who is a recent transplant to D.C. as well as an English/Journalism major, and Canadian-born to boot, was twittering about the recent storm as "snomaggedon", sans "w".

Chris said...

Nice variation. I got the following Google/Bing results, so it's out there. Note this time Bing returned considerably fewer hits.

Snomaggedon 1,400/228

Jason M. Adams said...

i like the twitter hashtag #snomg

Chris said...

Jason, I love it! I would pronounce it as "snomygod"

Chris said...

just discovered #snowverkill

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