It is interesting to study how the usage of words and phrases in book publications has developed over the years as they reflect a lot about the progression of societies. With Google transforming every book that they can get their hands on into digital format in their Google Books database, it is now a lot easier to conduct these types of studies.
Google Labs’ Books Ngram Viewer is a search tool that will allow you to see the development of how words have been used in books over the years. Entering a phrase will give you an idea on the trend of its usage over a defined period using a visual graph.
To use the Books’ Ngram Viewer, you need to enter the specific phrase that you want to learn more about. Keep in mind that they are case sensitive and must be separated by comma if you want to compare more than one search entry. You may also specify a period between the year 1800 and 2000 for a more specific timeframe.
You can also choose between English, American English, British English, Chinese, English fiction, English One Million, French, German, Spanish, and Russian. Finally, set a smoothing value in order to get a more significant pattern in the result.
- View a visual trend of the usage of words over a period of time.
- Compare the trend for more than one phrase.
- Specify a period of time.
- Set the smoothing value.
- Post the results of your query to Google Buzz or Twitter.
Check out Google Books Ngram Viewer @ www.ngrams.googlelabs.com