Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Google Ngram Viewer

Check out this chart by the Google Ngram Viewer. It shows the frequency of the phrase "drug war" rom 1800 to 2008. (Hat tip to Strayan who left a comment about this on Pete Guither's Drug WarRant blog.)

1 comment:

  1. This is very interesting. Since the words are held to be case sensitive I also added "Drug War," and "Drug war." The latter having the implication that it was at the beginning of a sentence and not really conferring the import of a singular effort, aka a proper noun. The former, "Drug War," being used as a proper noun, and at least to me, being used to show an official effort.

    Of course that's just my opinion and not necessarily correct; I guess I'd have to read those books to get a sense of the context.

    It would be interesting to know specific numbers of books vs. microscopic percentages. Maybe that's in the "raw data" option, I didn't explore an awful lot. But I did compare the word "cannabis" with the word "marijuana" and there is an interesting crossover where cannabis is mentioned regularly but marijuana is not. Then it looks like right around the time of Anslinger, the word marijuana starts to become used a lot more, until the 60's and 70's when its use skyrockets.


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