Taking a SIP

Anyone seen this new feature at Amazon: SIPs or Statistically Improbably Phrases? I found out about this phenomenon through a posting this morning at Rageboy.

Basically Amazon is using its “Search Inside the Book” feature to find phrases that occur rarely, and then listing them on the page for the books in which they occur. (You can also take a look at the Amazon and A9 search results for other occurences of these rare phrases.) For an example (not all books have SIPs identified), check out William Gibson’s Pattern Recognition; “robot girls” is the SIP of the day.

I’m trying to get my head around how this could be used. . .but in the meantime, I think a new pastime will be to browse favorite books looking for their SIPs.