Google Books Reveals How Words Have Changed In Popularity Over Time

Class Warfare ngram

Photo: Google

Google’s nGram Viewer is an amazing tool that lets users search word frequencies over the history of publishing.The folks at Zerohedge turned us onto the cool widget after tweeting about a bizarre spike in the early 1940s for “iphone” (some digging reveals this was caused by a surge in sales for the Edison Company’s Ediphone dictation device).

The tool searches Google’s collection of 5 million digitized books (about 500 billion words) and calculates how many times a word appears in any given year.

While results after 2000 go a little haywire due to changes in data quality, it’s still a pretty neat toy to play with. 

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