Books -- reading and writing.
Home, cooking, the weather.
And whatever connections I can make between these chapters of my life.

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Google's Newest: Books Ngram Viewer

I heard about this on the radio. I'd even read a couple of articles about it. But it seemed like more of an intriguing thing to play around with than anything I'd ever actually use.

Then today, I had the perfect question for Google's word database. The idea is that you can track how often a word was used (in books), when its usage peaked, when it first came into the book world.

I needed to know whether characters in the mid 1970s would have said Backpack or perhaps Knapsack. And I sure couldn't remember.

Yes, I could have asked my newest writing friend Lisa, who tells me she was 11 just about the time my work-in-progress's character turned that age in 1976. Or maybe my long-term writing buddy Teddie will know.

But how much fun is it to check it out on this site.

Here's a short LA Times blogpost explaining everything you'd ever want to know about Books NGram Viewer.  

Here's the link to the actual google site- With some good info.

And here's a picture of Knapsack vs. Backback, for the decade of the Seventies!

OK, that was my break for research and development. Now back to my new writing project.
(And thanks again, Joyce and Jamie, for your weekend inspiration.)

1 comment:

Joyce Moyer Hostetter said...

Now that is amazing! I will check this out.

Yhank you!