Tediously Gaining Results

Since my last post, where I blindly searched words that I thought resembled those most likely found in Shakespeare’s comedies and tragedies, I’ve done some further investigation thanks to my lovely group members. They provided me some words that their programs deemed tragic or that they noticed in their past readings of Shakespeare’s tragedies. This was exactly what I needed to help me investigate further because WordHoard requires you to know exactly what you’re looking for.


I used April’s previous blog post to start off with. Monk generated her a list of words that were most often seen in tragedies and with her investigation of the word ‘justify’ I had high hopes for the results I would get in return. My hopes began to dwindle around search number ten where I still had zero results in my lemma search and search number twenty-five crushed me, as I still had no results. I painstakingly built thirty-four searches in total to find lemmas that were associated with April’s results, they were all returned to me stating that there were zero results.

Lovely. How come with Monk it showed that it was super confident that the word ‘justify’ appeared more in Hamlet than all of Shakespeare’s other tragedies, but yet when I searched lemmas or just the simple spelling of it in WordHoard it yielded zero results? This caused me to bring up the entire Hamlet text on different sites on the Internet to just do a simple ctrl+f, or ⌘+f in my case, to look for the word ‘justify’ but still no results…strange.


Next, I moved onto the comment that Dane had left me in my previous blog post about words that he though resembled the tone of a tragedy. Thank goodness some of his words garnered me results or may have gone mad just like Hamlet. I searched for twenty-three different lemmas from the words Dane had provided me; from those I got seven that had matches, 9 total appearance in act five.

Beast(n), duty(n), fall(n), fall(v), revenge(n), slay(v), and wretched(j) were the golden tickets I need to start making my conclusions.

All but one of them appear in 5.2, which leads me to assume that the first part of the act is more light, or comedic than the second scene which is dark and tragic (but I could assume this already since everyone dies in this scene….). But if I had not read Hamlet before and was simply going off WordHoard’s answers to my queries that’s what I would assume.


This led me into thinking about how unique these words were to act five, turns out only fall(n) is unique. The other six words appear more frequently. These “tragic” words appear seventeen times in act 4, fifteen times in acts one and two and nine times in act 3. So if I were not accounting for the amount of words and the actual context they were used in I would assume that act 4 was the most tragic, acts one and two were in the middle making it possibly a tragic comedy and acts three and five were the least tragic possibly even comedic. Strange isn’t it?

3 thoughts on “Tediously Gaining Results

  1. Hi,
    I found this post funny because of all your trials with WH. I would have gone ‘mad’ too if I had to put up with all those ‘results’. You’d think that with Monk and the other programs to give you words you could have found something faster right? I think our group too was having problems with Monks ‘confidence’, giving us different readings for the word ‘spy’. Maybe though it’s not the word but just the general ‘feeling’? (actually I have no clue, I’m confused about Monk too). Anyways, its good that you attempted, I’ve been thinking that I’ve been too focused on finding my own words instead of using others information. I guess what I was thinking, was that sifting through on your own you’re more likely to find more ‘relevant’ words to what you want to search… that’s a good way, but maybe I should have also done what you did as well, saved me some time.
    I like how your ‘tragic’ words give you some strange findings; you’d think act 5 would be the most tragic right? Anyways, I hope next time you find more results, hopefully things go well (and hopefully I myself don’t run into the ‘zero results’ search anytime soon…) C:

  2. Paige! Holy man, my heart feels for you with the WordHoard issues! I can’t believe you actually had to set up 25+ individual searches to in turn get zero results! That is so weird about the Monk thing, showing that words existed that you couldn’t even find with a simple ctrl F function. These tools are just so sketchy sometimes. But at least with Dane’s help you managed to grab hold of a few results. Did you find that instead of the other’s only helping you with your tool that you could help others by using WordHoard? I always got SO excited when someone in my group would be like, “dang, can anyone’s tool search lemmas? cause I can’t!” and I’d be like “YES! ME! ME! I CAN!” hahaha. Oh WordHoard. You search words. Anyways, I hope you have even better luck as Phase 2 wraps up and you’re able to end up on pleasant terms with WordHoard!

    Forever crossing our fingers for no “zero results”,


  3. Hey Paige!

    Your screen shots are CRAZY! How long did it take you to do that?? haha that is not the point I guess. Sorry to hear you are having such trouble with the tool. The WH expert in my group, Dayna, has not had much trouble (that I know of). I wonder why it is being so crazy for you!?

    Looking forward to your presentation and better luck with WordHoard!


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