Category Archives: Recreational Mathematics

The value of a word

This is recreational mathematics rather than hydrology…

I received an email recently about the value of hardwork, knowledge and attitude.  If a, b, c,…,z are represented by the numbers 1, 2, 3,…, 26, then hardwork adds to 98, knowledge to 96 and attitude to 100.

“While hard work and knowledge will get you close, attitude will get you there!”

What about the value of other words?  Here’s an R function that will calculate the value of a word or phrase.

Wordsum = function(my_word){
x = setNames(1:26, letters)
x1 = unlist(strsplit(tolower(my_word), '?'))
sum(x[x1], na.rm = TRUE)
}  

Lets try it.

Wordsum('hydrology')
#129

Wordsum('hydraulics')
#120

Clearly hydrology is more auspicious, but neither compare to Geomorphology (171).