This made me think about collocations with heart. I did a search in the British National Corpus for 'heart' followed by a verb. Of the nearly 3,000 hits, 'heart sank' came a very respectable third, after 'was' and 'is'. With the addition of 'heart 's' at no. 11, these 3 account for over a fifth of all instances.
Meanwhile, 'heart leapt' was down at no. 17 and 'heart leaped' well below that at no. 31. And closer inspection of those numbers yielded an interesting bias. Of the 30 instances of 'leapt', 25 had the source 'W_fict_prose'; and of the 15 instances of 'leaped' 12 had the same source. And of those 37 'W_fict_prose' hits, in 29 cases (over three-quarters) the possessor of the heart is a woman. Now I don't know precisely what 'W_fict_prose' is, but perhaps I could be forgiven for guessing that the jackets are predominantly pink.
But what about the other verbs? Looking at just the top 51 (all the collocations with 10 or more hits) there are these indications of a dysfunctional or uneasy heart:
- thumping – no. 8
- thudding – no. 10
- attacks – no. 13 (the mesh of my search net should obviously be finer; hearts don't attack!)
- stopped – no. 14
- racing – no. 18
- lurched – no. 20
- pounding – no. 22
- hammering – no. 25
- missed – no. 26
- thudded – no. 28
- jumped – no. 29
- bypass – no.40 (another anomaly that shows how I need to brush up my search skills)
- bleeds – no. 41
- ached – no. 43
- sink – no. 45
- sinking – no. 49
- skipped – no. 50
- stop – no. 51 (an appropriate end to the list)
I should really see how COCA compares. But times a-wasting and I've got a long weekend (when I'll be off-line) to prepare for.
Update 2014.02.08.20:20 – Updated footer
Mammon When Vowels Get Together V5.2: Collection of Kindle word-lists grouping different pronunciations of vowel-pairs. Now complete (that is, it covers all vowel pairs – but there's still stuff to be done with it; an index, perhaps...?)
And if you have no objection to such promiscuity, Like this.
Freebies (Teaching resources: over 37,250 views and 5,200 downloads to date**. They're very eclectic - mostly EFL and MFL, but one of the most popular is from KS4 History, dating from my PGCE, with 1867 views/867 downloads to date. So it's worth having a browse.)
** This figure includes the count of views for a single resource held in an account that I accidentally created many years ago.