Searching for low Munroe indices


\(\text{“chauvinist pig”} | \text{pig}= 7.1\), but what I think you meant was \(\text{“chauvinist pig”} | \text{chauvinist}\), which is an impressive \(2.1\).

To answer your other inquiry, \(\text{“male chauvinist pig”} | \text{“chauvinist pig”}\) is \(0.40\). I’ll concede—that’s really low.

(I defined the Munroe index and explained its syntax in my previous post.)

Munroe index

In xkcd 798, Adjectives, Randall Munroe of xkcd established an index for judging how common an intensifier is for a given adjective. I’d like to formalize this a bit, and expand it to any phrase of the form modifier + modified. The Munroe (or xkcd) index

$$“\textbf{a}~\textbf{b}” | \textbf{b}$$

where \(\textbf{a}\) modifies \(\textbf{b}\) is

$$ -\ln \left( \frac{\text{Ghits }“\textbf{b}”}{\text{Ghits }“\textbf{a}~\textbf{b}”} \right) $$

(the quotes are very important; the Ghits must be for exact matches)

Naturally, the lower the index, the more common the modification is.

To take the example I previously had on the site, \(\text{“suicidal ideation”}|\text{ideation}\), where Ghits(“ideation”) = 5,910,000 and Ghits(“suicidal ideation”) = 2,230,000 is \(0.97\), which is very low. For reference, the lowest on the original xkcd were in the fives; the original lowest, \(\text{“annoying as shit”} | \text{annoying}\), is now about \(6.5\).

The only problem is that these fluctuate from day to day, and so are completely non-reproducible.


In a fit of rage, I completely deleted my previous content.

(Alright, it was an accident. I didn’t actually mean to—I was having serious, and probably fatal, configuration issues on the backend—and to be honest, I’d like some of it back. I do have a backup, but it’s corrupted. I may attempt to restore some of the more substantial content at some later point.)

I’ll start off right where I left off, as if nothing happened.