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
- Popehat Signal Update: Awesome Team Gets Great Appellate Result in Frivolous Case By AIDS Denier - May 3rd, 2016
- Bleg: External Storage Devices For iOS? Wireless or not. - May 2nd, 2016
- How To Write (Or Solicit) A Good Letter Supporting A Defendant At Sentencing - April 29th, 2016
- Marc Randazza Wrote An Amicus Brief About Klingon, And It's Magnificent - April 28th, 2016
- Regarding That Oklahoma Rape Decision You're Outraged About - April 28th, 2016