What's the most remarkable day of the week?


Sunday is the most remarkable day of the week, and Tuesday, to put it politely, is the least remarkable

You might think that every day would be equally important to us. After all, more or less the same number of us were born on a Wednesday as on a Saturday, and the most notable historical events are equally likely to happen on a Monday as on a Friday. Right?

Wrong. A quick persusal of Wikipedia shows that the word "Sunday" is mentioned 4 or 5 times more often than the word "Tuesday".

Why? Are there too many articles on soccer and football matches that occurred on Saturdays and Sundays? Is there an excess of articles on the Christian religion that mention the word Sunday? (as opposed to articles on the Jewish or Islamic religions that mention the words Saturday or Friday?) Or is it simply the case that more Wikipedia-worthy stuff happens at the weekend?

Whatever the reasons, this visualization shows a rectangle for each day of the week, the size of which indicates the number of times the name of that day is mentioned on Wikipedia.

For better or for worse, it seems that Fridays loom larger in our collective consciousness than Thursdays, and Sundays are a whole lot more worthy of remark than Tuesdays.

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I counted days of the week on Wikipedia as follows:

1. I downloaded a snapshot of English-language Wikipedia from 1 April 2017.

2. I considered only articles, templates, media/file descriptions and primary meta-pages. I omitted edit history and discussion.

3. I analyzed only the core text. I did not consider headings or captions.

4. I stripped HTML, Wiki markup and other non-English-language elements as far as possible.

5. I counted mentions of the days of the week on their own (e.g. Thursday), within hyphenated words (e.g. Saturday-night stay), and with apostrophe or apostrophe-s at the end (e.g. Monday's child).


A summary of the data used in this presentation is shown below for easy reference

Wikipedia word counts

Monday – 10,847

Tuesday – 5,729

Wednesday – 7,385

Thursday – 6,720

Friday – 14,787

Saturday – 20,153

Sunday – 25,700


First published 16 November 2017

other pages on things made thinkable

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