Saturday, January 12

Eight- and nine-letter words in base-26 pi

In my previous post, I provided some English number words that appear in Mike Keith's base-26 π-code representation of the real digits of π. This entry is about other words.

In 2000, I found the eight-letter armagnac at index 3095146. Now, with half a billion strung-together letters (one hundred times the "real estate") at my disposal, I expected to find many more eight-letter words and, hopefully, some larger ones as well. I used eight- and nine-letter words culled from Peter Norvig's Google word-count file made available in his recent English Letter Frequency Counts essay.

A search resulted in 35 eight-letter and 2 nine-letter hits. I dismissed gruening, schreber, brentano, and hillquit for being surnames only. (I kept mersenne because of its adjectival usefulness in mathematics.) I also excluded thoufand — an alternate, incorrect version of thousand resulting from the difficulty of distinguishing a long s from an f in old-English typography. That thoufand had 158819 mentions in Norvig's data set amply demonstrates his list's limitations (and questions his conclusions).

In the following, I have capitalized the words (including a German one) that I felt needed capitalization and added an accent on one of the three French words.

  3095146  Armagnac
  5204508  reformist
 26460749  plastics
 30620629  Batavian
 49292523  raisonné
 62288036  Altamont
 68386037  handsome
 95489940  freewill
119398927  obligate
122636295  derriere
144023162  tarragon
160285943  conveyer
186970055  lineages
194941942  symbolic
203750087  drawling
233706360  Brockway
238312955  homicide
244832756  coenzyme
248977229  offenses
290930240  friction
291953969  Judentum
308820127  engaging
317941229  outgrown
327954809  jamboree
378333440  bookings
428186515  noblesse
433412589  inertial
475910828  Mersenne
476984745  stigmatic
479595795  Vallarta
487934346  copyists
488079020  Assyrian

32 words: It's a start.

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