If a picture is worth a thousand words, then how many pictures is one word worth?

If you make each letter of the word into a picture itself, then a word might be worth the number of letters that it has.

Or if you include conjugates of the word, and synonyms of the word, and so forth, then a word could very well be worth a thousand pictures.

But wait a minute, that brings about the definition of "worth".... who is to determine what is worth something and what isn't? The wise men of the world are not going to waste their time deciding how many pictures one silly little word is worth!

A word is two bytes of information. Therefore, one word is worth one 4x4 black-and-white bitmap.

The word/picture market is extremely volatile and not reccommended for the novice trader. Drastic cost flucuations are not uncommon and the unwary amateur can find easily find himself in possesion of many large and worthless words and no pictures to secure his interest. The european word/picture market is widely regarded as the most risky way to earn words. The stubborn opinion of the French's value on the picture combined with the slow German word appreciation has led to share decreases so violent that entire nations were devalued when the Berlin Wall collpased in 1989.

Contrary to bitter_engineer's posting, the size of a word depends on the architecture. Although to x86 programmers it normally means "16 bits" (due to various crap we won't get into right now), strictly-speaking a word is the native data size. Most modern CPUs have a 32-bit-sized word.

That said, assume that any given bit pattern can produce one (and only one) picture. Well, then the number of pictures which a word is worth is 2 to the power of the number of bits in the word - that is, a 32-bit word can represent 232 unique images - so for most systems, a word is worth 4294967296 pictures!

Of course, assuming a bitmap with no compression, that picture will only be a 32-pixel monochrome image, but the single word can be much more expressive than that - for example, it could the a seed value for a pseudorandom number generator used by a random artwork simulator, so although any particular word has no specific meaning for the image, any two unique words will generate vastly different images.

Well, one picture is worth a thousand words.


You can derive that

.001 P = W

So in that sense, a word is worth .001 pictures.

However, it doesn't really work that way. A picture can be described extensively, with 1000+ words, as much as one word can bring to mind 1000+ pictures. Think "blue". You might see the sky, you might see the water, you might see jeans, you might see blueberries... There are thousands of images that come to our mind when we think blue, and that's why I think that it's arbitrary to say that a picture is worth a thousand words or a word is worth a thousand pictures. Words can be interpreted as differently as pictures can be, and therefore I have come to this conclusion.


Which, makes sense, since after all, a written word is no different than a picture.

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