Your Friday Afternoon Swears More Than Your Grandfather's Friday Afternoon
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
- Update: Dr. Mario Saad Asks Court To Reconsider Prior Restraint On Epically Ridiculous Grounds - March 4th, 2015
- Darren Wilson and the Benefit of Doubt - March 4th, 2015
- A Few Comments on the David Petraeus Plea Deal: What Money And Connections Buy You - March 3rd, 2015
- Weekend Censorious Dipshittery Roundup - March 2nd, 2015
- Judge Tim Grendell Was For The First Amendment Before He Was Against It - March 2nd, 2015