Fun with the Google Ngram Viewer

A few days ago Google launched the Google Books Ngram Viewer, a labs project that lets you compare the frequency of word use in published works, and compare these terms over time. For example, the following is a variety of common first names appearing in the English database over the last two hundred years.

Common English first names

You can see that around 1960, the name David suddenly started to gain in popularity. You can narrow the English corpus to American English, British English and English fiction, and also search works in other languages.

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