Fun with Google NGram Viewer

I’ve been playing around with the Google Labs NGram book viewer, and you can do some pretty big picture stuff with it.

I mean really big picture:¬† As the NYTimes reported, Its a “mammoth database culled from nearly 5.2 million digitized books available to the public for free downloads and online searches, opening a new landscape of possibilities for research and education in the humanities . . . It consists of the 500 billion words contained in books published between 1500 and 2008 in English, French, Spanish, German, Chinese and Russian.”

Just punching in a few key terms over the past century yields some pretty interesting results:


Main Street vs Wall Street (1920-2008)

click for larger graphs

Wall Street seems to get mentioned more after massive crashes — 1929, 2000 (above)


Check out the Deflation focus around 1930s, and the Inflation focus in the 1970s thru 80s:

Inflation vs Deflation(1920-2008)


The peak interest in Gold was around 1935, and rising again in 200s — with Oil getting lots of buzz around WWII and the 1980s.

Gold vs Oil (1920-2008)


England completely dominated for centuries:

Russia,Germany,China,England (1700-2008)


Uh-oh, there is a new kid int he neighborhood :

Russia,Germany,China,England, United States (1700-2008)


Here’s a fascinating one, from 1500–2008 — were those 17th and 18th century mentions of Jews all anti-semitic remarks? (or did we Jews certainly start publishing more books?)

Christians, Jews, Muslims (1500 – Present)

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