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
- RIP Abe Doe - October 21st, 2016
- Lawsplainer: The Ninth Circuit and Compelled Speech About Abortion - October 17th, 2016
- Thanks and Congrats To Dhillon Law Group For Important Pro-Bono Anti-SLAPP Win - October 10th, 2016
- Hillary Clinton, the Sixth Amendment, and Legal Ethics - October 10th, 2016
- FIRE Attacks Northern Michigan University's Shocking, Wanton Rule Against Students Sharing Suicidal Thoughts - September 22nd, 2016