Dyslexia and the Zipf Mystery

Feb 8, 2017 | Literacy

And what has Zipf’s Law to do with Dyslexia? For one thing: I have noticed that the 100 most frequent words contain 95 non-picture words/trigger words as we call them. Words such as:

the, be (forms of to be), to, of, and, a, in, that, have, I, it, for, not, on, with, he, as, you, do, at, this, but, his, by, from (in the correct order from 1 – 25).

All these words are potential stumbling blocks for a visual learner, as the meaning may not be clear, may be misunderstood or these words simply get depleted by a mind that needs a ‘real’ word, one that conjures up an image. For example:

“My mother was afraid that it had been too noisy” (mother, afraid, noisy…are the picture words;   my, was, that, it, had, been and too are non-picture words)

The 80/20 law is also a fascinating aspect I had not contemplated before: e.g. 20 % of causes create 80 % of effects; 20 % of the population owns 80 % of land; 20 % of pea-pots contain 80 % of the peas and 20 % of your customers bring in 80 % of your income. Awesome.


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