Which words are the most popular? Which words are most used online? We can find out by searching Google for every word in a dictionary – and then comparing the resulting page count for every word. Doing this, here are the 50 most popular English words. Before you take a look, can you guess which words will be on top?
(Of course, the data is slightly skewed, because the approach does not take into account how often a word appears on an individual page. This can give a slight boost to words which appear often on pages, but also mostly only once, like "copyright" or "home".)
And here are the least popular words from the dictionary used:
Bowdlerise, baccarra, legitimatise, clothesbasket, pauperise, muckheap, disembroil, gaolbird, hedgehop, chimneybreast, underquote, lughole, overcapitalize, acknowedgement, telephotograph, rumourmonger, undernourish, shopsoiled, chopfallen, clarts, halfpennyworth, forrader, outmarch, ropedancer, stomachful, reafforest, mercerize, cardpunch, maulstick, fingerstall, outridden, latinise, popadum, dustsheet, winceyette, straphanging, jewelelry, palankeen, skidlid, nasalise, heelball, coalscuttle, iodise, hipbath, counterattraction, chatey, remilitarise, chifonnier, disendow, cowheel, overcapitalise, roodscreen, salify, slenderise, macadamise, scrumcap, borshcht, velarize, transistorise, checkrail, longhop, chapelgoer, lanternslide.
So there we have the most and least popular words. But what about full sentences? We can't find them automatically, unless we search for all word combinations – which would take forever. And because it's impossible to automate, people created a game for this: PopSents.
PopSent is short for "popular sentences." The goal of the game, which was invented by Larry Tapper, is to create a real and meaningful sentence which returns the most results in Google (compared to other sentences of the same word length).
For example, the sentence "I am hungry" (entered in quotes) returns 311,000 results. Not a lot when you consider how many pages Google has. So let's try something which might yield some more results: "I was born," which returns almost 8 million result pages – much better already.
The PopSents homepage (somethinkodd.com/popsents/) lists some of the most popular sentences found in a high-score table. Can you beat those?
"You will be"
"It is not"
"I don't know"
"Click here for more"
"This page uses frames"
"Click here to see"
"Do you want to"
"You don't have to"
"Click here for more information"
"I don't want to"
"Tell us what you think"
"Your browser doesn't support them"
"Email this page to a friend"
"tell me when this page updated"
"an error occurred while processing this directive"
"your use of this website constitutes acceptance"
"Trademarks are the property of their respective owners"
"This site is best viewed with Internet Explorer"