Word Frequency - Wolfram alpha

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@maniexx
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Word Frequency - Wolfram alpha

Postby @maniexx » Wed Dec 14, 2011 7:45 pm UTC

Awfully linky for a first post, but interesting and not self-promotional, so I'll allow it. - gmal

http://www.wolframalpha.com/input/?i=word+frequency+shit
Yeah, there's definitely more shitty stuff in XX / XXI century.
http://www.wolframalpha.com/input/?i=word+frequency+fuck
What happend in 1700?
http://www.wolframalpha.com/input/?i=word+frequency+white
whatever that was, it was not white.

Lot's of nice stuff there, post your observations. I hope I'm not duplicating any thread, I didn't find it anywhere.

As I'm posting in the langauge secton, I feel like i should apologize for my far-from-perfection foreigner english :)

Edit:They don't currently let you compare words, I wrote about it so maybe it'll be fixed :)

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Re: Word Frequency - Wolfram alpha

Postby gmalivuk » Wed Dec 14, 2011 8:51 pm UTC

http://www.wolframalpha.com/input/?i=word+frequency+fuck
What happend in 1700?
Nothing having to do with fucking. Rather, the OCR used to digitize large bodies of text quite often mistakes the old long s for an f, and so doing computerized searches gives some really odd results. Searching Google Books for something like "laft" will yield similarly odd results.

Also, if you want to compare words, I highly recommend the Brigham Young University corpus site. (There are other corpora than the Google Books one, but that's most similar in size to what Wolfram|Alpha uses.) Alternatively, you could go directly to the Google Books ngram viewer. It's less powerful if you want to do really specific things with parts of speech and wildcard characters and such, but probably a lot more intuitive to use if you just want a visual representation of frequency data, like Alpha gives you.
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skullturf
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Re: Word Frequency - Wolfram alpha

Postby skullturf » Wed Dec 14, 2011 8:54 pm UTC

I was just about to say the same thing. See also the link below, which contains graphs of:

cafe vs. case
fame vs. same
lift vs. list
funk vs. sunk

http://languagelog.ldc.upenn.edu/nll/?p=2848

Derek
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Re: Word Frequency - Wolfram alpha

Postby Derek » Wed Dec 14, 2011 8:58 pm UTC

gmalivuk wrote:
http://www.wolframalpha.com/input/?i=word+frequency+fuck
What happend in 1700?
Nothing having to do with fucking. Rather, the OCR used to digitize large bodies of text quite often mistakes the old long s for an f, and so doing computerized searches gives some really odd results. Searching Google Books for something like "laft" will yield similarly odd results.

Ok, so they weren't fucking, they were sucking. But that still doesn't answer why! :P

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Kick
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Re: Word Frequency - Wolfram alpha

Postby Kick » Wed Dec 14, 2011 9:14 pm UTC

I think you will find this TED talk interesting:
What we learned from 5 million books

It covers some of the kind of questions you asked,

EDIT: Oh wow! Listening to that talk again made me laugh, they reference XKCD's "Stand back, I'm going to try Science!"
I'm never sarcastic.

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Re: Word Frequency - Wolfram alpha

Postby gmalivuk » Wed Dec 14, 2011 10:22 pm UTC

Derek wrote:Ok, so they weren't fucking, they were sucking. But that still doesn't answer why! :P
Why what? There isn't really anything terribly interesting happening at that time if you assume that those instances of "fuck" should really be "suck".
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mkr7
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Re: Word Frequency - Wolfram alpha

Postby mkr7 » Fri Jan 06, 2012 3:58 pm UTC

Passing through, I thought you might be interested to know that in 1700 the word "white" was temporarily replaced with the word "styrofoam." :)

http://www.wolframalpha.com/input/?i=word+frequency+styrofoam

tesseraktik
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Re: Word Frequency - Wolfram alpha

Postby tesseraktik » Sat Jan 07, 2012 11:59 am UTC

I thought it'd be interesting to look at the word frequencies for words pertaining to various doomsday scenarios.

I find it interesting that while the word frequency for the word "rapture" has decreased greatly over the past two centuries, that of the word "apocalypse" has exploded over the same period (in spite of having been around for centuries before then). Perhaps it's because the word apocalypse has entered everyday speech as a fairly generic word for any sort of doomsday scenario (which is curious, as that's not its original meaning).

The word "holocaust" has made an interesting journey. As I understand it (using my very limited knowledge and piecing things together using Wikipedia, Wiktionary and Dictionary.com): In the early/mid-13th century, it began its use in Middle English as a term for a burnt religious offering, being borrowed via Latin from a Greek term meaning "wholly burnt". At some point down the line, it started being used to describe mass deaths. In the early 1900:s, it was used (scarcely) to refer to mass extinctions in the aftermath of a nuclear conflict, and in the early '40:s it was used to describe the genocide performed by the Nazis.
Then it climbed and climbed, I'm guessing due both to increased awareness of the Holocaust and - probably even more so - due to the fear of a nuclear Holocaust in the post-war era, culminating at some point in the 80's and then starting to decline as that threat appeared to grow more and more distant, to the point that my generation have a hard time understanding the mindset of those who grew up learning "Duck and cover, kids!"
ni'o mi nelci le zirpu sovmabrnornitorinku
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EDIT: I looked it up on Wikipedia. Apparently it's some ancient Babylonian unit for angles :/

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Re: Word Frequency - Wolfram alpha

Postby eSOANEM » Sat Jan 07, 2012 11:04 pm UTC

tesseraktik wrote:I thought it'd be interesting to look at the word frequencies for words pertaining to various doomsday scenarios.

I find it interesting that while the word frequency for the word "rapture" has decreased greatly over the past two centuries,


I would be very surprised if this was an effect in the discussion of doomsday scenarios rather than the usage of the word in other scenarios has declined in the past two centuries.
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Re: Word Frequency - Wolfram alpha

Postby gmalivuk » Sun Jan 08, 2012 9:09 am UTC

tesseraktik wrote:In the early 1900:s, it was used (scarcely) to refer to mass extinctions in the aftermath of a nuclear conflict
What do you mean by "early 1900s"? Because I'm pretty sure no one talked about nuclear conflict until nuclear weapons were a thing, which happened pretty near the middle of the century.
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