A new way to look at your life?

They look like nonsense but they could be revealing


A new way to look at your life?

Forgive me, I have nothing to say about the world today because I have become obsessed with Wordle.

It's a genius little tool that takes bits of texts and creates 'word clouds' from them, based on the words that come up most frequently. You can type in anything and you'll get a word cloud. I have just used it to make a word cloud of the text from our wedding ceremony (above). It's actually quite lovely (although both mine and my husband's name come up in the largest font, which makes us look like egomaniacs).

I have also tried a few word clouds for upcoming features. And here's a wordcloud of a snotty letter I got from the Home Office when I complained that one of their adverts was demeaning. This one is on the same gallery page — a rather chilling word cloud of Goebbels' 1943 Sportpalast speech.

I could quite happily spend the rest of today inputting different bits of text, and seeing what kind of cloud they make. They may look like jumbled nonsense, but they could be instructive, if used in the right way. Think about all the different psychological tools and tests designed to tease information from you about your true thoughts and feelings — from Rorschach ink blots to Thematic Apperception Tests to mind maps and good old journaling. Word clouds could be just as revealing. What would you make yours out of?

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