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Statistically improbable phrases

I came across this meme while browsing my visitor stats and thought I should try it out. Much though I dislike Amazon, it does have some fun bells and whistles, including the listing of Statistically Improbable Phrases from any book where they have got adequate access to the text and interesting enough results. I've pulled out a few from books I have read so far this year; can you identify any of them?

1) salted meal, sacred salt, great laurel, father river

2) punishable assault, marrow wound, notice that the suit, full outlawry, fifth court, old beardless, nine neighbours, lesser outlawry, lawful notice, lawful request, property forfeit, quarter court, named witnesses, forfeited property, same bloodline, brain wound, greatest lawyers, internal wound - Njal's Saga, identified by londonkds

3) grave handbook, word shaker, swampy eyes, standover man, dream carrier, duden dictionary, drop sheets

4) most different climates, temperate productions, arctic productions, transitional gradations, modified descendants, naturalised plants, consecutive formations, sessile cirripedes, aboriginal species, unknown progenitor, transitional grades, domesticated productions, larger genera, doubtful forms, modified offspring, transitional varieties, profitable variations, diversified habits, neuter insects, systematic affinity, fossiliferous formations, mere individual differences, mongrel offspring, occasional means - The Origin of Species, identified by redfiona99

5) camouflage foil, cryo pod, fairy technology, bum flap, secondary door, helmet mike, jade ring, metal man, oxygen canisters, plasma screen

6) dying earth, caribou herd, ultimate intelligence, anti entropic fields, arrestor rods, hawking mat, tesla trees, motile isles, farcaster portals, cryogenic fugue, crew clones, mini gun, standard months, flame forests, containment field, universal card, standard centuries, local years - Hyperion, identified by steve_mollmann (and almost by hano).

7) signs with falsehood, punishment doth await, shameful chastisement, grievous chastisement, thou mayest warn, herein truly, observe prayer, thou thy trust, best knoweth, hath knowledge, hath guided, thy lord, whoso believeth, believing servants, clear tokens, hath subjected, obey the apostle, hath sealed, hath cursed

8) sensory motions, gusty air, atomic shapes, atomic compounds, sunlit world, component atoms

9) old lady with mittens, dressing gong, gingerbread men - Charmed Life, identified by bopeepsheep

10) expected brain size, altruist genes, sigmoidal growth, giant deer, juvenile features, antler size, periodical cicadas, organic diversity, gall midges, descent with modification

11) white saloon car, gone bad inside, mystery blonde

12) divisional inquisitor, old broom, huge men - Witch Week, spotted by bopeepsheep

13) ale house, lavash bread, cobblestone alleyway

14) green wind, third rail


( 19 comments — Leave a comment )
Jul. 17th, 2010 08:52 am (UTC)
9 sounds like Charmed Life - or possibly Lives of Christopher Chant. Too early to decide which.
Jul. 17th, 2010 09:42 am (UTC)
Oh, now I'm awake - it's Charmed Life. The gingerbread men are too weak to do anything but wave their arms and legs feebly.
Jul. 17th, 2010 10:20 am (UTC)
Jul. 17th, 2010 11:18 am (UTC)
No.5 is an Artemis Fowl book, I think - which ones have you read this year? (Can I look at your tags? Is that cheating?)

Oooh, and no.12 is Witch Week, isn't it! The Divisional Inquisitor suddenly rang the right bell.

Edited at 2010-07-17 11:20 am (UTC)
Jul. 17th, 2010 03:26 pm (UTC)
Correct on #12, and it's entirely in order to check back on my bookblogging!
Jul. 17th, 2010 03:57 pm (UTC)
Ok, I spot The Eternity Code in March so I'll go with that.

It occurs to me that one of these is probably Rebus, looking at your bookblog tags, and 11 seems the most likely. Which one it is requires me to go and disturb the MORI person downstairs interrogating narenek, however (they're sitting in front of the shelf) so I'll wait until I'm on a better connection (for Google) or able to get to the books to guess which it is. :D
Jul. 17th, 2010 08:43 pm (UTC)
Dead Souls, I think.
Jul. 17th, 2010 09:24 am (UTC)
I think 6 is something to do with the Hyperion universe, but as to which specific book I couldn't tell you
Jul. 17th, 2010 09:29 am (UTC)
(2) is Njal's Saga - the "old beardless" is the first giveaway, while the others just confirm it.
Jul. 17th, 2010 10:20 am (UTC)
Jul. 17th, 2010 12:19 pm (UTC)
4 could be Origin of the Species

10 could be any number of biological texts. I have a horrible feeling I have read whatever it is anyway.
Jul. 17th, 2010 03:31 pm (UTC)
#4 is indeed The Origin of Species.

#10 - can you take a stab at the author?
Jul. 17th, 2010 03:50 pm (UTC)
I know that it's either Dawkins or Steve Jones. If it's Dawkins I think it's The Ancestor's Tale and if it's Steve Jones it's The Language of Genes, but I think it's more likely to be Dawkins.
Jul. 17th, 2010 04:32 pm (UTC)
Hah, neither I'm afraid!
Jul. 17th, 2010 04:40 pm (UTC)
I shall wait with baited breath to see who it is :)
Jul. 17th, 2010 04:48 pm (UTC)
#6 is Hyperion by Dan Simmons?
Jul. 17th, 2010 04:50 pm (UTC)
Jul. 17th, 2010 05:22 pm (UTC)
damn, I knew it was of them! I don't have them immediately to hand to check properly.
Jul. 17th, 2010 07:12 pm (UTC)
My guess of a specific one was based on the fact that I was pretty sure the "Dying Earth" book was mentioned a lot in the first volume, but not the latter ones.
( 19 comments — Leave a comment )

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