Amazon's new feature:
Amazon.com Statistically Improbable Phrases: Amazon.com’s Statistically Improbable Phrases, or “SIPs”, show you the interesting, distinctive, or unlikely phrases that occur in the text of books in Search Inside the Book. Our computers scan the text of all books in the Search Inside program. If they find a phrase that occurs a large number of times in a particular book relative to how many times it occurs across all Search Inside books, that phrase is a SIP in that book.
SIPs might be the new Cliff Notes. You can learn everything that makes a particular work unique by them. For instance, the SIPs in Faulkner's Absalom, Absalom!--monkey nigger, wild negroes, wild niggers-- say all anybody needs to know about this classic work of American literature. What could you possibly need to know about Abraham Lincoln that you couldn't glean from his SIPs: not exist within their limits, cotten goods, policy that agitation, cannot exclude slavery, abolition platform, cranberry laws, annual joyous return, prohibited therein, requisite population, provision for submitting, unconstitutionally commenced, slavery therein, territorial existence, acquiring additional territory, nationalize slavery, unconditional repeal, ask your attention, slave constitution, unfriendly legislation, alike lawful, abolition counties, own way subject, long continued applause, useless labour, carry slavery. American History 101! Who needs college? Not you!
Cornered by an annoying Holy Roller? Don't want to admit you haven't had time to read The Mark: The Beast Rules the World (Left Behind No. 8)? No problem! The SIPs know all: enforcement facilitators, old safe house, loyalty mark. Smile, smack 'em on the back and tell 'em "Better slap on those loyalty marks before the enforcement facilitators break down the doors of the old safe house!" You and he or she will be brothers or sisters or siblings in Christ before you know it.
David Foster Wallace's Infinite Jest is as intellectually weighty as it is, well, weighty. Always wanted to be a member of the intellectual elite? Never had the time to read a 1300 page novel with 300 pages of footnotes? No problem! Just tell 'em you loved it, what with all the entertainment cartridges, annular fusion, dawn drills, professional conversationalist, feral hamsters. They'll be so impressed! This time you'll make them say her momma!
And finally, a missive from the future: "Damn, A. Cephalous, I'd love to read Ulysses but I can't find the time," says Some Gay Guy. You're in luck. It just so happens that I've its SIPs right here on my desktop: tooraloom tooraloom tooraloom, quaker librarian, absentminded beggar, matrimonial gift, base barreltone. "What about A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man?" What about it? "What's the deal with it?" I see, I see. It's a relatively simple book about epiphany technique, fallen seraphim, ardent ways, windless hour, esthetic image.
P.S. Some Gay Guy: Next time you find yourself at a trendy West Hollywood party surrounded by queer theorists, I've found a hoard of conversation starters for you: washroom sex, ridiculous theater, queer structure, gay punk, lesbian cinema, gay subject, lesbian filmmakers, lesbian media, gay filmmakers, lesbian representation, ball world, porn tapes, sex police, found footage, lesbian romance, corpus socians, paternal corpse, sexual difference theorists, gay male leather community, sexual structuring, black women reformers, black feminist theorists, homosexual heritage, gay cultural production, heritage cinema, vampire imagery, gay style, gay representation, lesbian vampire, vampire fiction, gay porn, gay oppression, sad young men, gay culture, gay male culture, vampire tales, camp sensibility, being queer, gay film, radical culture, sexual freedom agenda, reproductive surrogacy, malestream world, lesbian sex wars, gay male sexual culture, gay sadomasochism, queer coalition, strategies with couples, control desensitisation, dropping safety behaviours, case conceptualisation, internalising disorders, panic scenario, standard cognitive therapy, inflated responsibility, cognitive conceptualisation, old core belief, anxiety spiral, schema modes, schema avoidance, anxiety cues, focused cognitive therapy, panic attack frequency, hypomanic patients, interoceptive exposure, applied relaxation, cognitive therapy group, interpersonal schemas, panic disorder with agoraphobia, behavioural experiments, recent panic, behavioural avoidance, tempat ngeber, lesbi women, gay archipelago, lesbi subjectivities, archipelago concept, antiblack world, circular dream, decadent men, queer legal theorists, behavior that defines the class, suspect class status, good homosexual. That ought to get you party started right...