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Consider the following:

StringData2={"A dog is in the house.","A dog is outside.",
    "Why is everybody talking about a dog?", "Dog", "The duck died in the house.", 
    "The duck is actually a rabbit.", "Duck", "And the rabbit in fact is a dog", 
    "I have a dog in my house."};

Using the following function, it is quite easy to plot a histogram for StringData1. However the options remain fixed.

StringHistogram[list_] :=
 Module[{counter, strings, numbers},
  counter = {First@#, Length@#} & /@ (GatherBy@list);
  strings = First /@ counter;
  numbers = Last /@ counter;

  BarChart[numbers, ChartLabels -> strings]

In case of StringData2 I was wondering whether it would be possible to chop up each sentence into single words (e.g.{Sentence1,...} -> {{Word1, Word2,...},...}) and then to run StringHistogram on Flatten@StringData2New, whereas StringData2New is of the form {{Word1, Word2,...},...}.

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up vote 11 down vote accepted

I have a slightly different strategy for splittling the string than rcollyer, because you can stick the pattern into StringSplit directly instead of needing to do a StringReplace first to prepare the string for splitting. For instance:

In[141]:= StringSplit["A dog is in the house.", Except[WordCharacter]]
Out[141]= {"A", "dog", "is", "in", "the", "house"}

Also, you can make StringHistogram simpler by using the built-in Tally function, which you've reimplemented (pretty darn well, I must say):

StringHistogram[list_, opts : OptionsPattern[]] :=
 With[{tally = Tally@list},
  BarChart[tally[[All, 2]],
   BarOrigin -> Left,
   ChartLabels -> tally[[All, 1]],
   FilterRules[{opts}, Options[BarChart]]

I use the BarOrigin option to make the bars come from the side, which makes everything much easier to read when you have many strings, and I pass options to BarChart in order to make tweaking things easier:

 StringSplit[StringData2, Except[WordCharacter]] // Flatten, 
 ImageSize -> 500, BaseStyle -> "Label"]

big histogram

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Except[WordCharacter] is a very good alternative, and I'm ashamed to admit I never think of Except, +1. – rcollyer Apr 27 '12 at 21:51

You're looking for StringSplit. In your case, I would do this

StringSplit[{"A dog is in the house.","A dog is outside."}]

which returns

(* {{"A", "dog", "is", "in", "the", "house."}, 
    {"A", "dog", "is", "outside."}} *)

Unfortunately, that leaves in the punctuation. To rid yourself of the punctuation, I would use StringReplace first, as follows

StringSplit @ StringReplace[{"A dog is in the house.", "A dog is outside."},

which gives

(* {{"A", "dog", "is", "in", "the", "house"}, 
    {"A", "dog", "is", "outside"}} *)

Note the use of the character class in the RegularExpression; it makes specifying all punctuation easier.

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Regarding the first part of your question, I would rewrite StringHistogram like this:

StringHistogram[list_] := BarChart[#2, ChartLabels -> #1] & @@ Transpose[Tally@list]

If you want to supply additional options, you can extend this as:

StringHistogram[list_, opts : OptionsPattern[]] := 
    BarChart[#2, ChartLabels -> #1, opts] & @@ Transpose[Tally@list]

I think Pillsy's suggestion to split the strings is very clean. Here's another equally clean approach using StringCases:

StringCases[StringData2, x : WordCharacter .. :> x]
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