NCBI ROFL: And the March "No s**t, Sherlock" award goes to…

By ncbi rofl | March 9, 2010 7:00 pm

dylanphotoEmotional fluctuations in Bob Dylan’s lyrics measured by the dictionary of affect accompany events and phases in his life.

“Lyrics for Bob Dylan’s songs between 1962 and 2001 (close to 100,000 words) were scored with the help of the Dictionary of Affect in Language (Whissell, 2006). Means for Pleasantness, Activation, and Imagery are reported for 22 Blocks characterizing this time span. Significant but weak differences across Blocks were found for all three measures at the level of individual words. Emotional fluctuations in words included in Bob Dylan’s lyrics accompanied events and phases in his life, although they were not entirely dictated by these events. Dylan used more highly Imaged and more Active words at times when his work was critically acclaimed. More Passive word choices characterized times of prolonged stress, and more Pleasant choices times of experimentation. Dylan’s three popularity peaks were used to divide the singer’s career into three stages (rhetor, poet, sage) which differed in terms of pronouns used.”


Thanks to Heather for today’s ROFL!

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CATEGORIZED UNDER: analysis taken too far, duh, NCBI ROFL
  • Ruth Yehle

    Hi Miriam! Thanks for the check-in on this strange piece. Isnt it amazing what a phenomena Bob Dylan is, that at 68 (69?) we’re still analyzing stuff like his use of pronouns for different moods. It is still interesting to me, sorry for the delayed response. I haven’t quite got the Facebook thing down. I have some very prolific groups that post to me and can’t quite figure how to omit them from the more personal stuff. Thanks for emailing this! Ruth


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NCBI ROFL is the brainchild of two Molecular and Cell Biology graduate students at UC Berkeley and features real research articles from the PubMed database (which is housed by the National Center for Biotechnology information, aka NCBI) that they find amusing (ROFL is a commonly-used internet acronym for "rolling on the floor, laughing"). Follow us on twitter: @ncbirofl


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