Tuesday, October 24, 2006

Amazon never ceases to amuse me!

I just ordered a new translation of The Five Books of Moses by Robert Alter from Amazon. On my Amazon homepage it nows shows me this book, along with two other similar books (the Tanakh and the NRSV translation of the Bible), and underneath images of each it says:

These phrases occur frequently in each of these books: "one ram"


No kidding! Must be all those instructions for sacrifices.

A little popup window from Amazon explains:

Amazon.com's Statistically Improbable Phrases, or "SIPs", are the most distinctive phrases in the text of books in the Search Inside!™ program. To identify SIPs, our computers scan the text of all books in the Search Inside! program. If they find a phrase that occurs a large number of times in a particular book relative to all Search Inside! books, that phrase is a SIP in that book.


So evidently "one ram" is a phrase you're unlikely to find in any book other than the Bible. And that's probably true. How often do you use the phrase "one ram" in ordinary conversation? "So I was walking by this sheepfold" (you were?) "and this one ram was looking at me funny, so I was like, 'You lookin' at ME, ram? I can kick your furry little butt!'" Or whatever. I just made that up.

1 comment:

eric said...

How about, "Excuse me, may I have one Gig of ram please?"