Zipf’s Law

After watching a long session of ‘VSauce’ videos (great brain food videos, albeit very addictive!), I came across this video discussing ‘Zipf’s Law’. Zipf’s law states that in any corpus of natural language, the frequency of any word is inversely proportional to its rank in the frequency table. This Zipfian distribution applies to many different types of data studied across a variety of fields (the video discusses a large variety of these instances). Zipfian distributions also follow the ‘Pareto Principle’, the 80-20 rule. 80% of the words used in any corpus are only 20% of the unique words used.

After being utterly captivated by this phenomenon, I decided it would be fun to check whether my blog, being a corpus of natural language, followed Zipf’s law.

To my delight it does! I also thought it would be a nice opportunity for me to experiment with colour, utilising a dark midnight blue as the background instead of the usual white. Using the complimentary orange for the data points allows them to ‘pop’ from the background which I think produces a nice effect.

If you disagree or have any other non-traditional colour combinations for charts feel free to let me know in the comment section!