Computer Scientists Show What Makes Movie Lines Memorable

The study suggests that memorable lines use familiar sentence structure but incorporate distinctive words or phrases, and they make general statements that could apply elsewhere. "These aren't the droids you're looking for" (accompanied by a hand gesture)... You can use them in a different context and apply the line to your own situation.

A line will be less general if it contains third-person pronouns and definite articles (which refer to people, objects or events in the scene) and uses past tense (usually referring to something that happened previously in the story). Distinctive language can be identified by comparison with a database of news stories.

Later analysis also found subtle differences in sound and word choice: Memorable quotes use more sounds made in the front of the mouth, words with more syllables and fewer coordinating conjunctions.

Tags: quotable

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Replies to This Discussion

Ruth, does this apply to non-visual quotes also? Like Voltaire, Kant, Twain, Ghandi, etc.? Quotes from written sources seem to resonate with me equally well, sometimes even more so.

It seems logical that using familiar sentence structure, incorporating distinctive words or phrases, making general statements that could apply elsewhere, and not including past tense or definite articles should apply to print media as well. Of course that would be a study of another data base.

Thanks Ruth. Seems logical to me also. Appreciate it.

I like
"I'll be back" from Terminator ... I could think of others ...

I'll think of more to post later ..

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