Ngrams: one more way to win an argument using Google

I thought I’d never see a definitive answer to this one, but thanks to the brand-new Google NGrams Viewer, the facts are clear:

It is “another think coming,” and it has always been “another think coming.”

A lot of words and phrases (though not these) show a dip starting in 2000 or so.  I wonder if the nature of the corpus changes at that point to include more words?  You see the same effects with name frequencies — the frequency of any given name has been decreasing over the last twenty years, just because names are getting more and more widely distributed; the most popular names today take up a smaller share of namespace than much lower-ranked names did in the 1950s.  A quick and dirty thing to check would be the entropy of the word distribution; is it going up with time?

Lots of good ngram examples on Tom Scocca’s blog, here and here.

Oh, and here’s the Four Shortstops:

Ripken, appropriately, is showing great staying power.

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7 thoughts on “Ngrams: one more way to win an argument using Google

  1. Cool…

    Any insight on the rise of the flabbergasted?

    http://ngrams.googlelabs.com/graph?content=nonplussed, flabbergasted &year_start=1800&year_end=2000&corpus=0&smoothing=3

  2. Nigel says:

    “He” occurs consistently about twice as often as “she” and yet with “him” and “her” it’s reversed!

  3. Nigel says:

    But maybe “her” should also be paired with “his”, which wins.

  4. […] Ngrams: one more way to win an argument using Google (quomodocumque.wordpress.com) […]

  5. Nigel says:

    If you put in a year, then for some reason the year it appeared the most seems to be consistently 4 years later.

  6. Anonymous says:

    Eggs Benedict is smoked by kippers, which, in turn, has recently been passed by crumpets.

  7. Dave says:

    Here’s a Facebook page we made to share interesting ngrams:

    http://www.facebook.com/nteresting.ngrams

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