Which rock bands have the biggest vocabularies?

December 17, 2014
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You may remember a story about data analyst Matt Daniels, who discovered which rapper has the largest vocabulary. Now, Consequence Of Sound found stats guy Brian Chesley, who uses Daniels’ concept but applies it to the genre of rock

To be clear, Chesley’s data is not up to the standards of Daniels’, who examined over 85 rappers and 35,000 words from each. Chesley looked at just 10 rock bands and a sample of 17,000 words from each. Still, it’s interesting to see how these 10 bands stack up against each other.

As you can see in the graph below, he charted average words per song on the Y-axis and unique words in their vocabulary on the X. Of the 10 rockers examined, you’ll notice most of them—the Eagles, the Rolling Stones, Aerosmith, U2 and Led Zeppelin—average around 210 words per song and 2,000 unique words in their respective vocabularies. Metallica have slightly more average words per song and unique words overall (a bigger vocab), while AC/DC has a smaller vocabulary with 1,800 words.

Two major outliers you’ll notice are Kiss and Pink Floyd. Kiss have somehow been getting by with fewer than 1,400 unique words in their vocabulary. They still use a relatively high amount of words per song, so they must be repeating those words a lot. Dark lyricists Pink Floyd have the highest vocabulary—2,600 unique words—and use a very low amount of words per song, so they don’t repeat often.

Check out the chart below, and let us know your thoughts.

Written by Matt Crane