I needed to find out what are the least used letters in the English language. I pulled down a list of about 100,000+ English words, split them all and made a list of about 1,000,000 letters. Sorted them by usage and came up with this as the result:

esiarntoldcugpmhbyfkwvzxjq

It would be interesting to make a heatmap of this over an image of a QWERTY keyboard.

Below is a the same list but with ratios compared to the least common:

e 3.0
s 2.3
i 2.1
a 2.0
r 1.9
n 1.8
t 1.6
o 1.5
l 1.4
d 1.1
c 0.9
u 0.9
g 0.8
p 0.7
m 0.7
h 0.6
b 0.5
y 0.4
f 0.4
k 0.3
w 0.3
v 0.3
z 0.1
x 0.1
j 0.1
q 0.0

I hope I got that right because I did that calculation in a quick one-liner just now. It basically means that the letter e is 3 times more common than the average.

Ryan - 12 May 2009 [«« Reply to this]
> It would be interesting to make a heatmap of this over an image of a QWERTY keyboard.

If you don't clean your hands religiously, you most likely already have a "grimemap" on your keyboard which more or less equates to a usage heatmap.
rgz - 12 May 2009 [«« Reply to this]
I did the same thing for Spanish *manually* 9 years ago and also found e to be the most common vowel and letter, and the letter s to be the most common consonant and almost more common than the vowel "u" (but still in Spanish the vowels outnumber all the consonants)

How I wish I knew python back then!
Michael Tobis - 12 May 2009 [«« Reply to this]
This is odd, especially the poor performance of 'H'. It was long believed that the order of frequency is

ETAOIN SHRDLU

which even has an entry on Wikipedia.
Yish - 12 May 2009 [«« Reply to this]
Where did you get your list of words? Also is it useful to account for the frequency of the words themselves when calculating this list? E.g. if "the" is the most popularly used word in english, it would significantly skew the upwards the usage of the letters "t" and "h"
Peter Bengtsson - 12 May 2009 [«« Reply to this]
You're actually right. I just took a huge list of words without caring for which was the most common *words*. My bad.
K - 13 May 2009 [«« Reply to this]
Perhaps a better data source would be texts from project Gutenberg or Wikipedia?
Michal Bartoszkiewicz - 12 May 2009 [«« Reply to this]
You should include the frequency of each word in the calculation – you probably treat the 't' in 'the' identically as the 't' in 'anthropomorphologically', but the former occurs slightly more often in (normal) English texts than the latter ;)
According to Wikipedia (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Letter_frequencies) 't' is the second most popular letter with about 2.3 times the average.
Peter Bengtsson - 13 May 2009 [«« Reply to this]
yeah, you're right. I was lazy.
Eric - 12 May 2009 [«« Reply to this]
By "3 times more common" do you mean "4 times as common"? The numbers make it look that way, but an unfortunate recent tendency is to use "3 times more" when "3 times as much" is more appropriate.
Dougal Matthews - 12 May 2009 [«« Reply to this]
http://utilitymill.com/utility/Keyboard_HeatMap

Not great but kinda fun.
Peter Bengtsson - 13 May 2009 [«« Reply to this]
Says the Jpg is broken every time I try to open it.


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