A simple bar chart on letter distribution

I was visiting a colleague's office in another building and I spotted a whiteboard on which the following enigmatic bar chart was drawn. The source data for the analysis was left unspecified.

Letter Distribution
    S   N   O   P   D   G  

It looks like there's an entire Web site devoted to profound charts like this. For example, a graph of beer bottle distribution as a function of the number of bottles taken down and passed around.

When I showed this Web site to one of my friends, he responded, "Oh, great, now I'm not going to get anything done for a week and it's all your fault."

Unfortunately, the charts on graphjam appear to have diverged in recent months from the site's original conception as a reinterpretation of music and popular culture. Now it's just snarky charts.

Comments (18)
  1. rogeorge says:

    The chart does have a meaning. Consider that the chart is listing the occurences of letters that form some kind of noun, so you have a word with 1-S, 1-N, 3-O’s, 1-D, and 2 G’s…. give up? Kind of a weird version of Wheel of Fourtune…




  2. nathan_works says:

    What’s my name ?

    But I think it’s missing a few y’s as well..

  3. Adam V says:

    It would have taken me a lot longer until I realized the letters weren’t in alphabetical order. Writing them down in chart order (SNOOOPDGG) gets you 95% of the way there.

    And I’m a fan of graph jam; the Bohemian Rhapsody chart (http://graphjam.com/2009/03/12/song-chart-memes-easy-go/) is by far my favorite. I just wish they’d added dots at each point… but still awesome.

  4. Leo Davidson says:

    I thought the chart was flipping me the bird at first glance. :)

  5. DWalker says:

    The colorblind chart (linked above by BradC) is priceless.

    So is this flow chart: http://xkcd.com/518/

  6. Jeff says:

    Graphjam seems like a less entertaining version if Indexed.  Maybe it’s just different and I’m biased because I found indexed first.  Either way-


  7. J says:

    Generate your own enigmatic chart in perl:

    #!/usr/bin/perl -w

    use strict;

    my (%letter_distribution, %order) = ();

    my $count = 0;

    while(my $line = <STDIN>) {

           $line =~ tr/A-Z/a-z/;

           foreach my $letter (split(//, $line)) {


                   $order{$letter} = $count++ if( not exists $order{$letter} );



    foreach my $letter (sort { $order{$a} <=> $order{$b} } keys %order) {

           print "$letter,$letter_distribution{$letter}n" if $letter !~ /^s$/;



    echo snoopdogg | ./letter_distribution.pl







  8. Gabe says:

    Graphjam appears to be brought to you by the same people who brought you icanhascheezburger. I can’t imagine it being anything other than snarky charts.

  9. Mike Kolitz says:

    Does this mean that you’re going to start making pre-emptive snarky charts?

  10. dnick says:

    I’m glad I looked at that site before I wrote a comment questioning the existence of "snarky charts."

  11. RJ says:

    You shouldn’t have linked to that site, I already wasted 1 hour on it!


  12. Tom Leys says:

    In the news today : Prominent blogger leads to mass productivity loss among IT / T workers costing millions of dollars

    I love the bottles on the wall graph you linked to. Also, thanks for all the insightful posts!

  13. kusma says:

    Also check out http://www.jamphat.com/rap/ – It’s amazing how much more sense rap music makes when accompanied by these charts!

  14. Neil says:

    Fortunately I’ve already archive binged on GraphJam but it took more than a week…

    I’ve even tried creating my own graph (see url link) but I couldn’t work out how to submit it.

  15. Cereal says:

    S, n, double-o, p, d o double-g.

  16. Someone You Know says:


    My wife has had the same problem with GraphJam and its associated sites. As I understand it, the graphs that appear on the blog itself do so only if they do well in a user voting process. But she was never able to get her graph into that process, so she eventually got bored and gave up.

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