Monday, January 19, 2009

Word Nerd!

Over Christmas break we had fun calling my sister "Bird Nerd" because of her new-found love for bird-watching and her new job as a biology TA for a professor who teaches a Gen Ed Biology course that, rather than teach about Biology, only teaches about birds, and requires students to go out and try to find as many local species of birds as they can.

Why do I bring this up? Just for fun, mostly, but also as an introduction to a story about my own nerdiness. When I was a kid, I had cereal most mornings for breakfast. And while I ate my cereal, I used to entertain myself by counting the number of times that certain letters appeared in the text on the box. Usually I would just do the vowels, but occasionally I'd also branch out and count some of the more prevalent consonants. Some sides of the box obviously were more word-rich environments. The front usually doesn't (didn't? I hardly ever eat cereal any more) have a lot of writing, and when it does it's usually large font, low word count. The side with the nutrition information was always a good source of words, in both the count of essential vitamins and minerals (niacin, potassium, etc.) as well as in the list of ingredients (enriched wheat flour, high fructose corn syrup, etc.)

Obviously the vowels were generally more common than the consonants, although 's' sometimes could be close to the big boys. Of the vowels, 'e' was by far the most common. Because I'm sure you were dying to know. Anyone else spend their breakfast hours counting vowels on their cereal boxes? No? Anyone?

5 comments:

Rachie said...

We would mostly just fight over who got the toy or who got to do the maze or word games on the back. In comparison, your cereal hobby just sounds hard. :)

As for the birding topic, I had a red house finch for a peeping Tom today!

Natalie said...

kudos to Rachie for knowing her birds! And by the way Jake- your word nerdiness is far worse than my bird nerdiness. At least mine is useful ;)

Larissa said...

You are definitely a nerd...no competition in the word-counting category:-)

Shiloh said...

You can always spot the smart ones early! And p.s. props to your sister-- I'm a "bird nerd" too!

Sakievich said...

seems your job is giving you a lot of stress...