WorldCat analysis identifies most common English title words for books, movies and other media

OCLC Research Senior Program Officer Roy Tennant used WorldCat, the world's largest online database for discovery of library resources, to identify the most common English words in titles of books, movies and other media. The results were published in The Atlantic article, "In Books, Movies, and Media, the Most Popular Title Word Is 'New'", on 8 January 2014.  

The top five English title words by number of appearances according to WorldCat are:

  1. new
  2. report
  3. study
  4. development
  5. analysis

A chart of the top 31 English title words by appearances according to WorldCat appears in The Atlantic article, as well as some mentions of other efforts to identify verbal popularity.

WorldCat is cooperatively produced and maintained by OCLC and its member libraries. Because it contains more than 1 billion titles held by over 10,000 libraries around the world, it is a proxy for the world's published literature and, as such, can be tapped to answer questions about that literature.

For more information:

Roy Tennant
Senior Program Officer
OCLC Research

Melissa Renspie
Senior Communications Officer
OCLC Research


Quick links:

OCLC WorldCat [link]

The Atlantic article: "In Books, Movies, and Media, the Most Popular Title Word Is 'New'" [link]

Roy Tennant [link]