Re: Word-use spikes

From: Alan Patrick (
Date: Sun 02 Mar 2003 - 21:09:13 GMT

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    > Leaving aside the unfortunate degeneration of language (not that that is a
    > new phenomenon!), and leaving aside 'celebrity'-based fads, I wonder
    > word-spike studies might not have a serious purpose, indicating trends in
    > the adoption of ideas or preoccupation with them. One could conceive that
    > such spikes indicate shifts of attention.

    This technique is already used by various future-prediction outfits as a way of picking up tipping points/new trends, as well as similar counts such as no. of column inches on various subjects. I don't know how good a predictor it has proven to be before an event though, as it is not clear to me whether
    "the media" (ie financed, edited media) is a leading indicator, but I can see how analysing Google searches or Blogs or suchlike (ie any unedited medium) could be more interesting.



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