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
- Louisiana Judge Issues Ludicrously Lawless Takedown Order To Newspaper - August 27th, 2015
- Lawyer Threatens Yelp Reviewer With Lawsuit, Is Wrong - August 25th, 2015
- Lawsplainer: How Did the Fifth Circuit Narrow Student Free Speech Rights? - August 24th, 2015
- Ninth Circuit Harshly Scrutinizes Law Enforcement Leak, Threatens Sanctions Against Department of Justice - August 20th, 2015
- If You Disagree With This Post, You're Joining A Bullying Lynch Mob - August 17th, 2015