Paper: You Had Me at Hello: How Phrasing Affects Memorability

ACL ID P12-1094
Title You Had Me at Hello: How Phrasing Affects Memorability
Venue Annual Meeting of the Association of Computational Linguistics
Session Main Conference
Year 2012

Understanding the ways in which information achieves widespread public awareness is a re- search question of significant interest. We consider whether, and how, the way in which the information is phrased ? the choice of words and sentence structure ? can affect this process. To this end, we develop an analy- sis framework and build a corpus of movie quotes, annotated with memorability informa- tion, in which we are able to control for both the speaker and the setting of the quotes. We find that there are significant differences be- tween memorable and non-memorable quotes in several key dimensions, even after control- ling for situational and contextual factors. One is lexical distinctiveness: in aggregate, memo- rable quotes use less common word choices, but at the same time are built up...