(This is the nineteenth in what will eventually be series of 26 posts, should I live so long: each post centers on a topic suggested by the next letter of the alphabet from the previous post. The posts all have to do, directly or indirectly, (in this case, very indirectly indeed) with teaching and learning.)
Doing this alphabetical challenge has led me into some mental landscapes that I would probably not have thought to explore otherwise. For example, back at the letter K, I was struck by the quirkiness of K words generally and the smaller available stock of even those. Which led me to wonder which letters of the alphabet had the largest pool of words. The small ponds were clear from the start. Not too many X and Z words out there, you know that before the start, as anyone who has ever done an elementary school abecedary can attest. But who's the boss daddy of letters? I took it upon myself to conduct a little bit of informal investigative research (counting the number of pages for each letter in the Official Scrabble Player's Dictionary). The results are in. Let's hear it for our winner, today's honoree: the letter S.
The race wasn't even close. S came in with 78 pages, C came in second with 54, followed closely by P with 50. The next group arrived in a tightly-knit pack some distance behind: A and B at 40, T at 38, D and M at 36. X, no surprise, was dead last, with one page. (Z and Y tied at 4).
Summary of the top seven: S, C, P, A, B, T, D
I just took a break from writing this post to see what stats I could track down on the internet and I found my way to The Phrontistery, which is precisely the kind of site that you would presume would have to exist somewhere simply on the grounds that if you can think of something, someone else has probably already thought of it and done it. The letters listed there for the first seven are the same, but order is slightly different: