Hunger Games author Suzanne Collins has a thing for the word "drunk", Stephenie Twilight Meyer likes "unwilling" and J.K. Rowling more often than not reaches for the word "nasty".
These are the results of a study that involved counting and analysing every one of the millions of words contained in the three best-selling series.
The so-called textual analysis is the painstaking work of Slate writer Ben Blatt.
Blatt used a computer program to analyse the texts of each of the books in the series. He then compiled a list of the words each author used most frequently compared to the others.
The results give a curious insight into the writing styles and pre-occupations of the writers.
Collins is more likely to use the adverbs repeatedly, genuinely and genetically, compared with Meyer's preference for amazingly, intently and deliberately. J.K. Rowling's No. 1 adverb is feebly, followed by promptly and forcefully.
The study points out that Collins appears to have settled on the ideal length for her young adult readers, with each of the three books almost exactly 102,000 words. In contrast, the length of Rowling's novels varies widely (the last, Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, is at least double the length of the first, Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone) and none in the Twilight series comes within 10,000 words of the other.
The most common sentence in the Hunger Games books is "My name is Katniss Everdeen", while in the Twilight novels it is "I sighed". Rowling goes for the relatively downbeat, "Nothing happened".
Despite the high-tech tools used in the analysis, this fascination with the numbers and types of words in individual works dates back at least to the 13th century, when the first exhaustive catalogue of the words in the Bible was carried out by French monks
- Sydney Morning Herald