Name two of the four most frequently
occurring words in English writing?
Etymology, Etymology, and more Etymology
as well as grammar, usage, euphemism, slang, jargon, semantics, linguistics, neologism, idiom, cant, and argot.
The critically-acclaimed board game
consists of tough questions about the nuances of the English language.
the, of, and, to
According to John Allen Paulos in
The formula for 'success' (
The Guardian, Thursday July 22, 2004):
"In English, for example, the word
the appears most frequently and is said to have
rank order 1; the words of rank 2, 3, and 4 are of, and, and
Zipf's Law relates
the frequency of a word to its rank order k and states that a word's frequency
in a written text is proportional to 1/k^1;
that is, inversely proportional to the first power of k. (Thus
of occurs half as frequently as
the, and a
third as frequently as the - and
synecdoche hardly at all.)"
Note: Top Twenty Written
English Words (in order of most to least used): the of and to in a
for was is that on at he with by be it an as his
Top Twenty Spoken English
Words (in order of most to least used): the and I to of a you that in
it is yes was this but on well he have for
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