The Most-Used Words in Conference: What I Learned from a Closer Look

The Most-Used Words in Conference: What I Learned from a Closer Look

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Recently, I underwent a project to satisfy my personal curiosity: discovering what words were used the most during last year’s general conference. I thought that if I looked at the text from a new perspective and if I really analyzed the words that were spoken, maybe new messages would somehow reveal themselves to me. Maybe I would find some deeper, surprising message that our Church leaders were trying to communicate.

The Most-Used Words in Conference Last Year

So, I copied every word spoken at all 12 sessions of general conference in 2015. Then I ran these long pieces of text (126,545 words total) through several online text analyzers to compare the outcome.

And guess what the most-used word for both general conferences was?

“The.” Yep, in spring “the” was used 3,659 times and in fall it was used 3,606 times, making up approximately 6% of all of the words used. And the second most-used word? “And.” Not surprisingly, this word came in with 2,383 uses in spring and 2,429 in fall, making up nearly 4% of all words used.

Though interesting from a language-use perspective, that wasn’t exactly the message I was going for. But once I weeded out all of the prepositions and articles, I was left with the most-used words from general conference: the real meat of our inspired leaders’ messages.

But what I found still wasn’t particularly surprising.

After all, wasn’t it Nephi who said, as members of Christ’s Church, “we talk of Christ, we rejoice in Christ, we preach of Christ, we prophesy of Christ, and we write according to our prophecies, that our children may know to what source they may look for a remission of their sins.” The results of my analysis was just a little confirmation to me that the teachings of the Church have remained consistent from 600 B.C. to the present. (For an interesting read, check out why a Catholic professor said “Mormons are more Christian than many mainstream Christians” because they are “obsessed with Christ.”)

Read the full article at LDS Living.

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