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Saturday, April 9, 2011

Blog Challenge "H"

I don't usually post on the weekends, but since I'm in the A to Z blog challenge, here we are!  Saturday and posting!  :)

H is for: Hapax


I thought I would take a break from possibly useful words to bring you a rather interesting one: hapax.  It's pronounced like "happens,"  but with an "x" at the end, sort of like "happex."  A hapax (or hapax legomenon) is a word that appears only once in a body of [writing] work.  Weird, huh?  And it happens a lot more than you might think, too.  Statistically speaking, if you were to count the numbers of occurrences of every word in a piece of literature, roughly 40 to 60 percent of the words are hapax legomena.

Need proof?  78% of the words in this post are a hapax.  (Longer bodies of work are closer to that stat.)

Good luck finding common use for this bit of knowledge, but if it's ever your million-dollar question on a game show or something, send me a postcard, would ya?  :)  (And a shoe box full of hundreds, LOL.)

Have a great weekend!

9 comments:

Jess said...

Interesting word. I'm one of those people who keeps a mental count of overused words in a novel.

Sue H said...

Who thinks up these words? Or the the fact that a word is needed to describe such a thing?

Oh well - it's interesting, anyway! (another contender for the Scrabble board!)

SueH I refuse to go quietly!

baygirl32 said...

I wrote it down, guess who will be using it this week?

Tara Tyler said...

thanks for all these crazy words.
happy h day!

Writing Lesson said...

This is the first time I come across that word. Happy weekend everyone!

Sylvia Ney said...

Interesting. Thanks for sharing a new word. I'm stopping by from the A to Z challenge and I look forward to reading more from you.

Gail M Baugniet said...

I haven't read Dean Koontz for a while but I always noticed there was one word (can't for the life of me remember what it was) that he always used once in every novel.

Misha said...

That's so interesting! Goes to show you. English has a name for EVERYTHING. :-D

Title Loans said...

They say you learn something new every day, and they weren't kidding. I didn't know that anyone paid attention enough to come up with a word describing words that are only used once. Who has that much time on their hands?

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