Your Friday Afternoon Swears More Than Your Grandfather's Friday Afternoon
It's time for Waste Your Friday Afternoon, the Popehat feature that seeks to give you an excuse (as if you needed one) to be unproductive.
This week it's all about words, and how they are used.
Google, in its ongoing quest to do vast, unfathomable, and vaguely frightening things, has announced a vast new word database, containing about 500 billion words from about 5.2 million digitized books from the last four centuries. The resulting Books Ngram Viewer lets you plot how frequently words, or names, have been used over the centuries, permitting a glimpse at both language and culture.
You can inquire, for instance: what happens when a previously innocuous word that meant an uncontroversial thing becomes re-purposed to mean a much-talked-about and controversial thing?
Last 5 posts by Ken White
- DoJ's Gag Order On Reason Has Been Lifted -- But The Real Story Is More Outrageous Than We Thought - June 22nd, 2015
- "Bald, Fat & Crazy" -- A Book About Perseverance - June 19th, 2015
- Did The Department of Justice Get A Gag Order Silencing Reason About The Grand Jury Subpoena? - June 18th, 2015
- Partial Victory In Patterico's Free Speech Case Before Ninth Circuit - June 15th, 2015
- Department Of Justice Uses Grand Jury Subpoena To Identify Anonymous Commenters on a Silk Road Post at Reason.com - June 8th, 2015