EC Brighton – word frequency from Robin




Today I work shadowed Simone, EC Brighton’s operations manager. After a day of my incessant questioning and covering his desk in biscuit crumbs (sorry Simone), I thought of a new phrase of the day:

to drive someone insane – meaning to make someone become crazy

The British National Corpus has a database of 100,000,000 written and spoken English which is designed to represent a wide cross section of British English. It’s an amazing resource because it shows the frequency of words which are used the most – the word ‘the’ is used 6055159 times in 100,000,000 and is the most used word in the English language! Searching for a word on this database will give you upto 50 examples the word in a sentence: (

English synonyms of Insane:

crazy – used 1700 times

‘mad’ – used 2964 times

‘deranged’ – used 103 times

‘bonkers’ – used 48 times

‘loopy’ –  used 77 times

‘nuts’ – used 880 times

‘demented’ – used 163 times

Word challenges!

1) Can you think of more synonms of ‘insane‘? (There are loads in
English because we are all crazy!)

2) Think of the second most frequently used word in British English.

3) Think of a word which is only used once in 100,000,000 words

– Check your answers here: (

Good luck!


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