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Google Books Ngram Viewer

Ok, so rabbitwarren got me started on Google Ngrams. In case you haven't heard, Google has digitized all their books and will let you track word counts throughout the corpus. Which is wicked awesome.

Whore vs. Prostitute vs. Courtesan Notice the surge in popularity of prostitute and the compensatory declines in both the others in the early 20th century.

Homosexual vs. Heterosexual Nearly identical curves, but homosexuality is waaaaaay more popular.

Airplane vs. Aeroplane Don't you wish aeroplane had won? Be honest.

Fuck What the fuck is up with that peak in the early 1800s? Any ideas? Sample error from a lower corpus? Or did people just like the word more back there then we know?

Radio vs. Television vs. Internet It's like watching a horse race where you already know who's going to win.

Bosom vs. Breast vs. Chest Look at how breast and chest track toward the end. And look at bosom, coming back from behind!

Nuclear vs. Atomic Atomic was much more popular early in the 20th century, but has been supplanted by Nuclear. Perhaps as we developed more pacific applications?

Communism vs. Terrorism vs. Fascism Yup.

Warhol vs. Picasso vs. Monet vs. Michelangelo Can you find an artist that Monet doesn't totally blow out of the water? I couldn't.

Feel free to post your favorites in the comments.


( 14 comments — Leave a comment )
Dec. 21st, 2010 04:26 pm (UTC)
Nobody likes Gluttony: The Seven Deadly Sins
Dec. 21st, 2010 04:30 pm (UTC)
Do you think maybe they just uploaded a lot of 1800 erotica? Because you are right, there is a lust peak near that time too... although it doesn't quite match.

Still trying to beat monet!
Dec. 21st, 2010 04:43 pm (UTC)
Dali beats him for a little while...40 years before Salvador Dali was born.
Dec. 21st, 2010 05:07 pm (UTC)
OH MY GOD - it's a font error - they're reading "suck" in typefaces where the character still looks like an f. Look at the sources from that time period.

Fuck vs. Suck See how suck gets more popular exactly as fuck declines? Changing fonts!
Dec. 21st, 2010 05:08 pm (UTC)
Dec. 21st, 2010 06:53 pm (UTC)
Yes, I read your post and was hoping to be the first to point that out. Shame.
Dec. 21st, 2010 06:53 pm (UTC)
Technically, the long S is a different character...
Dec. 23rd, 2010 07:16 am (UTC)
Well of course - but Google's OCR clearly doesn't know that. Besides, I got to post a graph that was "fuck vs. suck."
Dec. 21st, 2010 06:58 pm (UTC)
I suppose I should be saying YEFFFFF?

(I tried to google a genuine long F font that would be livejournal compatible, but there is important work stuff like things to be done)
Dec. 21st, 2010 06:59 pm (UTC)
Crap, and then I was going to check if a long s even belonged at the end of the word, and I forgot, and clicked post, and THIS IS WHY I SHOULD NOT WORK WHILE TRYING TO LIVEJOURNAL!
Dec. 23rd, 2010 07:21 am (UTC)
It doesn't belong at the end of the word, but it would be used for the medial s's before the end. So what you meant to say was yeſſſſſſſſs
Dec. 24th, 2010 03:31 pm (UTC)
And from that...
Dec. 24th, 2010 03:36 pm (UTC)
I vote this post most likely to become an xkcd cartoon. Excellent work.
( 14 comments — Leave a comment )