A small beer from a small town – Zipfer

It is amazing the incongruous places weird beers can turn up. I’ve had this little beer from Austria twice now, firstly in Beijing and secondly in Wollongong. Zipfer is brewed in the microscopic town of Zipf. Quite unique bottle, but small. Taste is fine – very clean, very pure. Not an overpowering European taste, but it is there nonetheless. In looking up Zipf, I came across Zipf’s Law – which has nothing to do with Zipf itself, but rather a Harvard professor. For your education and edification, I have provided an extract of Wikipedia’s discussion of Zipf’s Law.

“Zipf’s law states that given some corpus of natural language utterances, the frequency of any word is inversely proportional to its rank in the frequency table. Thus the most frequent word will occur approximately twice as often as the second most frequent word, which occurs twice as often as the fourth most frequent word, etc. For example, in the Brown Corpus “the” is the most frequently occurring word, and by itself accounts for nearly 7% of all word occurrences (69,971 out of slightly over 1 million). True to Zipf’s Law, the second-place word “of” accounts for slightly over 3.5% of words (36,411 occurrences), followed by “and” (28,852). Only 135 vocabulary items are needed to account for half the Brown Corpus.”