Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Map of words in General Conference

Really interesting visual representation posted on LDS Media Talk of the words used in the most recent general conference (included below). I would be even more interested to see a comparison: general conference vocabulary vs. a sample of the vocabulary used in LDS congregations around the globe. I think the differences would be extremely telling.

A couple comments:

  1. I think it is nearly impossible to argue that Mormons are not Christian based on this analysis.
  2. My gut feeling is that I think most LDS congregations in the U.S. tend to not use the words "Lord" and "Jesus" as much as our leaders do in general conference, instead using "Savior" and "Christ" in greater frequency.
  3. I was sad to see "Zion" used so infrequently.
  4. I think it is interesting to see how frequently we use the word "President." I understand it is for good reason-citing previous Presidents of the Church and bearing testimony of our current Prophet Thomas S. Monson- but what does it say about us culturally that we use that term so frequently? I think it falls into the category of vocabulary that is a cultural phenomenon and not driven by or used in proportion to our scriptural foundation. I think an onlooking sociologist would point to the very business-like structure of leadership in the Church.
  5. The word "May" is probably in the top 5 which I find extremely interesting because I think it is a word that has fallen out of use in most common vernacular. I really like the way Mormons use the word which is often as a prayer or call to action "may we all be a little more kind, a little more loving" or "may we always remember." I think it signifies polite and a humble people.
I could go on but a very interesting visual graph. If you want to run one of your own talks or posts through the tool it is available at Wordle.net.

5 comments:

Wm Morris said...

Good analysis, David. I especially agree about the Zion comment.

David Stoker said...

I don't know what to think about the word "Zion"...are we afraid to use the term? Why?

Are we just not using this particular word or are we no longer talking about communities and people, instead our emphasis stopping at the household level?

Pallas Athena said...

Though I do not keep track of all words, I do track all mentions of the Savior in my local sacrament meeting. You can see the results here

mel said...

you forgot one important thing: For Aslan!

Trina Talbot said...

Love this! & as food for thought, have you seen the logo that they are using for the 2012 Summer Olympics??

http://www.london2012.com/

... it has "Zion" written all over it :)