Google Ngrams

After reading the article of “how not to do things with words” by Ted Underwood, it got me thinking a lot more about language. I decided to play around then with the Google Ngrams. I also, was trying to think of things in context of the 19th century. I did the word play a few times. And sometimes, it did not show anything impressive. That was a little disappointing because I really thought there would be more activity. I tried things like “cricket, baseball”, and “tea, crumpets” things like that to start off with. Nothing crazy, then I expanded my searches the graph below was my first search for “cricket,baseball”. As expected cricket was a lot higher on the graph than baseball. Because in the early 1800s

Screen shot 2014-10-19 at 6.36.23 PM



The top graph, I searched “men,women”, I was not that surprised that men came up more than women. And the bottom graph, I looked up “death,birth”, following the “men,women” graph, I was not surprised that death came up more than birth. It seems like in the 19th century, men and murders were more of a literature topic than women and babies.


Screen shot 2014-10-19 at 6.43.43 PMScreen shot 2014-10-19 at 6.38.41 PM


This graph, I wanted to look at the genre of literature, I looked up “mystery,romance”. I thought it was really interesting that romance was underneath mystery but they followed really close patterns. It seems like there were popular readings for both men and women who could read.

Screen shot 2014-10-19 at 6.45.30 PM


Searching these words helped me see that there are some patterns within word choices but it does not help me understand more about the context of these words. It can be one of those pitfalls where the programs are failing us.






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