According to MIT's technology review site, computer scientists have taken the time to analyse thousands of memorable movie quotes to work out why we remember certain phrases and not others. They've discovered that "memorable phrases contain generic pearls of wisdom expressed with unusual combinations of words in ordinary sentences."
The results are interesting. The phrases themselves turn out to be significantly distinctive, meaning they're made up of combinations of words that are unlikely to appear in the corpus. By contrast, memorable phrases tend to use very ordinary grammatical structures that are highly likely to turn up in the corpus.
They also found that memorable phrases tend to use pronouns (other than you), the indefinite article a rather than the definite article the, and verbs in the past rather than present tense. These are all features that tend to make phrases general rather than specific.
And in case you're wondering the reasons behind this apparently pointless discovery, the scientists state that "future work may lead to applications in marketing, advertising and education." Oh boy.
|The Geography of the Seven Deadly Sins|
|Super-slow-motion pictures show soap bubble bursting in stunning detail|
|Insect With Built-In Mechanical Gears|
|Myth: Humans Celebrate Diversity and Respect the Point of View of Others|
|How to Avoid Jury Duty|
|On Instagram, Everyone Takes the Exact Same Photos|
|“This incredible inconsistency can make English really hard to master for non-native speakers.”|
|“Sending you changes in your media feed that are calculated to adjust you slightly to the liking of some unseen advertiser.”|
|Japanese Robot Serves Ice Cream From Inside a Vending Machine|
|Review of BenQ's treVolo S Portable Electrostatic Bluetooth Speaker|
|“Lifting the electric motors out of Teslas and putting them in the chassis of other, formerly gas guzzling cars.”|
|“That’s why Colorado School of Mines decided it was time for students to learn how to tap celestial bodies for all they’re worth.”|
|“What can we do to make responsible use of plastic a reality? First: reject the lie.”|
|“Rejuvenation is Finally an Industry.”|
|Why, Typewriters Are Alive and Well, Thank you|
|Go the Fuck to Sleep: A Children's Bedtime Book|