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.
|Apes May Have Descended from Humans|
|Why Asparagus Makes Your Pee Smell|
|Science Uses Puppets and Babies to Prove Humans Are Generally Good|
|How to Make Dry Ice With a Pillow Case and a Fire Extinguisher|
|The Human Mind is a Wandering Mind, and a Wandering Mind is an Unhappy Mind|
|“Research that could engineer dinosaurs back into existence within the next five to 10 years.”|
|Fake Name Generator|
|“A man-powered machine that creates scarfs in 5 minutes.”|
|Google Map Shows You the Most Photographed Areas of the World|
|Japanese Robot Serves Ice Cream From Inside a Vending Machine|
|“If I’m upset with Facebook, what’s the equivalent product I can go sign up for?”|
|The (Very Scary) People of Public Transit|
|“The only thing worse than assuming that carbon removal will save the day is assuming it will save the day.”|
|What Computers See When They Watch a Movie|
|How to Avoid Jury Duty|
|CaptchaTweet: Write Tweets in Captcha Form|
|“A machine meant to hurl rockets into space.”|