11 November 2008

Not Quite So Many Moose

A few weeks ago, I wrote of a distinct up-side to Sarah Palin's campaign: that the word moose was appearing in the national media with unprecedented frequency. I noticed an increase of 327 percent in occurrences from August to September of 2008, and predicted — perfectly reasonably, I might add — that we could look forward to 327% increases every month from now on. That would have meant 2,472 occurrences of the word moose in October.

I now see, however, that the actual frequency of the word moose was a mere 444 times in October — less than 18 percent of my expected figure.

This leads me to conclude that the August-to-September increase was a statistical outlier. This proves, further, that the entire Sarah Palin phenomenon was nothing more than statistical noise — in other words, we now have mathematical proof that Sarah Palin never actually existed.

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