Seven Historiographical Poems for Google Labs

I’ve successfully killed some time today playing with Google’s incredible new timesuck they’re calling The Ngram Viewer. Basically, it takes every piece of the monolith’s increasingly absolute collection of digitized books and allows users to generate graphs based on their dataset of word usages. Want to know whether people publish the word “extemporary” more or less than they did in 1955? This is how to find out. Obviously, there are a handful of bias errors to be factored into such a simplification, but it’s less fun to think about them than to not. Anyway, I’ve concocted a few that generate at least moderately sonorous results. Surely there are more.

These may only be fun for people as into statistics as I am. There can’t be very many of you. Some notes: “historiographical” in the title of the post is less a reference to the field of study and more just a play on the words “history” and “graph”, also “poems” is likely a bit of stretch, depending on who you talk to. Most of these are drawn from the full English language dataset, though a couple are limited to fiction only.


Yesterday, Today, Tomorrow: A Triad


Man, Woman, Person: A Triad


Fuck, Bitch, Cunt: A Victorian and Post-Victorian Triad


The Rise of Sex in English-Language Fiction


The Decline of Countenance in English-Language Fiction
for Jane Austen


The Shelleys: Percy v. Mary




That last one is quite bizarre. Can anyone account for the little spike of activity in the early 20th Century? I can’t be sure, but I’d like to think it has something to do with Nikola Tesla’s time machine and this guy’s Youtube video:

Happy Upcoming and Current Holidays.


Explore posts in the same categories: Internet is Weird, Poems in the Wider World

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