word cloud clockwork orange by anthony

how many words in a clockwork orange

Practice makes perfect; this is a replacement for the word cloud of this book I made two weeks ago, and I think it’s much better looking. It is still based on the original, iconic Penguin cover:

A Clockwork Orange makes for an interesting word cloud, because so many of the words are in Nadsat; six of the top ten non-trivial words are in Anthony Burgess’s invented Russian/Cockney youth dialect, including veck, “guy” (from Russian chellovek), viddy (to see) and horrorshow (an Anglicization of the Russian khorosho, “good”).

The most common non-trivial word is “brother(s)”; it occurs 259 times, 86 of them as the phrase “O my brothers,” which is how the sociopathic narrator, Alex, addresses the reader. Two memorable phrases from the book and the Kubrick movie are “ultra-violence” and “Ludwig van”, which occurs relatively few times: 15 and 12, respectively.

The title (which is never uttered in the movie) appears nine times, since it’s the title of a book within the book; in chapter two Alex mockingly reads it aloud before he and his gang rape the author’s wife to death.

Alex uses the misspelling “heighth” 21 times, but gets it right twice, all in similar contexts.

About half of the words in the book are only used once, an exceptionally high proportion. Many of these are Nadsat, which is an interesting challenge, since the reader has to understand the meaning from context. Many of these are easy derivatives of English words (“chickiwick”, “clopclopclop”), others are more challenging (“choodessny”, “oobivat”).

There are about 59,000 words in A Clockwork Orange, of which about 14,000 are non-trivial (“the”, “in”, etc.) There are about 5,500 unique words.