Words are changing, but did you know the English language’s top 100,000 words change at 10% per year on the internet, according to a study of bing.com? Microsoft was surprised by this rapid turnover. (See The Fluid Language of the Web.)
You can explore trends in words using Google Books Ngram Viewer. Google’s search includes 15 million digitized books from more than two centuries, representing 12% of all the books ever published.
I tried the viewer first with common English words that I knew have additional meaning in the last few decades: text, message, and feed. Click on the first image to see the results. My second test used God, Jesus, and Bible. Again, click or right-click on the second image to see the results.
You can search within a time period, compare trends in different languages, find books that used your search word for a certain time period, and more. How would this tool help you in your ministry and in understanding cultural changes?
Research source, including a TED talk video from the Harvard developers: “Culturomics” on The Technium.