The New York Times writes about a new Google tool to track the usage of words in books over time.
First one I tried was kind of fascinating. Love vs. war -- 1700 to the present. Neck in neck at the beginning, then war way ahead from about 1770-1790, about even until about 1915, and then war again huge for a while, moving closer to even starting in the 1960s, but it's only in the past decade that love has jumped back up above war for the first time since almost a hundred years ago.
Let me see if it'll work for me to save the image file and paste it below. It's really neat. Here's the link.
Hmm, what else can I try. Baseball vs. football. Football wins. Interesting. I would have thought there were far more mentions of baseball. There are far more baseball books. Or so I think.
OK, this is sort of neat. Comedy vs. satire vs. parody vs. farce. The death of satire and the rise of parody, at least to some extent. Although I suppose I expected this graph to look far more extreme than it does.
Pretty much everything I'm trying is interesting. This is a really neat waste of time. Islam, Judaism, Christianity, since 1840. Here.
Republican, Democrat, and, just for fun, Whig. Here.
And, finally, Yahoo and Google.
Feel free to find some more fun ones and throw them in the comments.