Now when you ask Wolfram|Alpha about the “word frequency history” of any word in English, you’ll see a plot of how that term’s usage has changed over time.
The word frequency history of a word can document when a common word, such as “web”, becomes more popular after gaining a new meaning.
It can also show how quickly a word can pass into common usage after the emergence of a new technology, such as “transistors”.
These plots may also show interesting correlations with historical events. For example, malaria became a large problem for servicemen in the Pacific during World War II.
(Raw data comes from the Google Books “English One Million” corpus.)
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