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时间:2018-01-05 19:45 点击:
几千年来,人类一直在讲述爱情故事。但是,2004年一支新的浪漫故事流派诞生了——以《纽约时报》广受欢迎的“当代爱情”专栏的形式。(@参考消息)

people have been telling love stories for thousands of years. But in 2004, a new romantic subgenre was born—in the form of the New York Times' wildly popular “Modern Love” column.

A typical “Modern Love” column is no more representative of how the average person falls in love than Romeo and Juliet. Naturally, the stories that appear in the paper tend to be dramatic. (Deadly diseases and trips to the emergency room are recurring features.) And the columns are disproportionately written by professional writers, which means the stories are evenly paced, and cleanly structured, in a way that love often isn't.

Still, the column can reveal a lot about our cultural attitudes toward romance and heartbreak. As graduate students in economics and computer science, we decided to use statistics to analyze every “Modern Love” column published over the past 10 years—with the goal of identifying patterns in how romantic narratives take shape. Here's what we learned.

1)Dating may be harrowing, but it makes for the best stories

The New York Times tags each article with its main topics, revealing the incredible number of ways to write about love.

Dating proves to be a particularly fruitful topic, with online dating a favorite subject.

2)The column prefers to stay demure when it comes to sex

Many columns deal with trials of true love: mental disorders, death and dying, cancer, infertility, crime and criminals, and adultery. But it turns out that “Modern Love” columns are quite innocent in another sense: they average only half a kiss per column, and the majority of the columns never explicitly mention “sex” at all.

3)Men are more likely to focus on other men

When we started reading columns from the male writers that used mostly male pronouns,most of them were not about romantic love;many of them were about fathers. Strikingly,women mention their daughters twice as often as they mention their sons, while men mention their sons twice as often as they mention their daughters.

4)“Modern Love” columns follow clear narrative arcs

We mathematically traced the arcs of people's love stories by plotting where in the essay certain words occur. The beginnings of columns feature characters (“boyfriend”, “husband”) and set the scene (“college”, “beauty school”). As essays progress, they become more emotionally intense, using more sad language (as measured by LIWC scores, a standard approach).

But near the end, authors shift from using“she/he” to the more romantic “we.”

They stop talking about the past (using phrases like “met” and “years ago”) and look to the present and future (“now”, “I will”). Suggesting some form of personal growth or understanding, the authors also use more words indicating insight and certainty (eg, “realization”) as the end draws near. And at the very end, love blossoms; of the tens of thousands of words used in “Modern Love” essays, “love” is the one that spikes most significantly at the end.

5)There are a lot of ways to talk about loss

Some sad stories use no sad language at all. Cindy Chupack's column, about getting a divorce from a man who realizes he's gay, fools the algorithm into thinking the story itself isn't sad because it uses funny language.

几千年来,人类一直在讲述爱情故事。但是,2004年一支新的浪漫故事流派诞生了——以《纽约时报》广受欢迎的“当代爱情”专栏的形式。

数据统计中,请稍等!
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