We just stumbled on this chart of the most-used words on beloved Baltimore-based HBO drama The Wire, made by a Reddit user/data wizard/extreme fan of the show. The biggest surprise is… no surprises. The most popular word does indeed have four letters and — well, you can figure out the rest.
Although Wire creator David Simon has grumbled on record about how much he hates the way internet culture deals with television, we like to imagine that Baltimore’s most-treasured grouch can at least find it in his heart to smile at all the Wire tributes that internet fans have come up with. There’s the Lego re-make of the show (spoiler alert!), and the 8-bit video game version. There’s the Wire-as-NCAA-style-bracket-tournament (the article that got Simon all riled up in the first place). And now, this rad chart of the show’s most frequently spoken words. (“People” comes before “money” — who’d have thought?)
Although plenty of shows have huge fan bases, there’s something about the Wire that seems to spur fans to parse and re-parse and re-re-parse it. We say it’s a tribute to the show’s lasting power; we just hope David Simon sees it that way, too.
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