In the End was the Word – A Computational Approach to T.S. Eliot’s Poetic Diction


This paper is an exploratory study into the diction of early twentieth century poetry. Using the Oxford English Dictionary as a reference point, I investigate the claim that T.S. Eliot, exemplar of Modernism, was writing in a style that was in some way separate from the Georgian movement that came just before him. C. K. Stead writes that critics have been disposed to view the Georgians “through spectacles provided . . . by the later, more vigorous movement led by Pound and Eliot.” Using a computationally augmented approach I place the diction of the Georgian movement in opposition to that of T.S. Eliot’s poetic corpus to try to uncover whether their usage was as divergent as critics claimed.

In the End was the Word: a Computational Approach to T.S. Eliot’s Diction, 2016
Adam James Bradley
in Reading Modernism with Machines, Palgrave Macmillan, 2017.



Word use by date of first usage in English across corpora

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