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Google Labs has a new cool time-waster called Google NGram Viewer. Essentially, it’s a search engine for the printed word from 1800 to 2000: you key in a few words, and the viewer instantly graphs the occurrence of those words over two centuries of indexed publications.
Here, for instance, is the NGram Viewer for these words: sin, righteous, and piety:
The word “sin,” as you can see, has been on a steep decline since 1840.
Here’s my favorite: the occurrence over the past two centuries of the words empower, multicultural, and homophobia:
It’s addictive, and hilarious, and I’m sorry if, like me, your day is now shot. Go do a couple yourself, and post them here.