Tuesday , 6 December 2016

Google Ngram provides interesting insight into the history of words

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Google Ngram is an interesting tool that allows you to search over 5 million books for certain words and get a timeline of how often it was used all the way back to the 1500’s. Here are some surprising results.

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Certain eras seem to appreciate a good laugh more than others. We seem to be in a slump almost as bad as the Civil War these days. Certainly we can do better than that.

 

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“Comedy”

Certain eras seem to appreciate a good laugh more than others. We seem to be in a slump almost as bad as the Civil War these days. Certainly we can do better than that.

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“Hipster”

The 1950’s was a more popular time for the word than it is now. Seems like something a hipster would be happy about, right?

 

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“Crime”

Everyone loves a good murder mystery, this one’s not going anywhere.

 

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“Hawaii”

Hawaii’s long history is pretty synonymous with the chart, from a newly discovered paradise, an agricultural haven, a strategic military base, all the way to Hollywood’s favorite place to film. People are writing less and less about it, is it possible that Hawaii has finally become a little cliché? Impossible.

 

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“Cocaine”

People as early as the early 1900s were recognizing the effects of the drug.

 

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“Marriage”

It’s not surprising that more people were writing about Holy Matrimony in the olden days, seeing as no one seems to want to stay together anymore.

 

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“Divorce”

….My point exactly.

 

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“Disco”

If you’re curious as to why people were writing about boogying to the BeeGees under a shiny ball in the 1600’s, it’s because it’s actually the Latin word for “I learn.”

 

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“Cowboys”

From the rugged horse-back riders to “America’s Team,” this term has stood the test of time.

 

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“Web”

It was kind of just there until it got the special new meaning in the 1990s when it became a name for the internet…but it’s dropping now that the word is so last century.

 

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“Gay”

The word was popular back when it meant “care-free,” but then dropped off until gay rights became a highly-acknowledged social movement.

 

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“Porn”

Um… does this surprise anyone?

 

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