October 21, 2017

What Year Are You Talking In?

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Here’s a really fun research tool for you!

I stumbled across the Prochronisms blog last week and can’t wait to read through more of it when I have a minute. Ben Schmidt basically uses this nifty tool called the Ngram Viewer to catch anachronistic bloopers in TV shows and movies (like when a character in Downton Abbey asks “Are you okay?”).

I’ll be using the Ngram Viewer when I work on historical fiction. It’s also a neat, visual way to check if an expression is as common as you think it is.

How would you use a tool like this?

For Russian, there is the National Corpus. There is a bit of a learning curve with this tool, but it gives you similar insight into how language changes over time.
Photo by StevenW

 

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