dryriver writes: Google has put up a search tool that lets the user search for the frequency of a "word" or "phrase" in millions of books that have been digitized over the years — e.g. years 1800 to 2013. A search term that looks as follows: "Tesla, Edison, Einstein", for example, will draw a graph of how frequently Tesla, Edison and Einstein are mentioned in books in a given year. Of course one can also search for more generic words and phrases. One can, for example, search for "justice, law, right", to see a timeline of the years in which these terms peaked or fell. Google's new search tool is interesting, because it gives immediate visual feedback on when, in the last 200 years, a given word or phrase was popular with writers and publishers. It is a bit like Google's Zeitgeist, only that it extends far into the past — before computers and the Internet were invented, and when the printed word was very much king of the hill when it came to storing and transmitting information.
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