Tracking the Language of the Environment Tracking the Language of the Environment
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Tracking the Language of the Environment

by Ben Jervey

December 28, 2010
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Last week, Google labs released a new language tool, the Google Books Ngrams Viewer, that lets you plug in any word or short phrase and see how often they occurred in published books over a designated period of time.

While the technological tool itself is certainly worthy of its own post (looking at you, Peters!), it sure is fun (or, at least, interesting) to see how various words and phrases relevant to a particular field have played out over time.

Nicola already went ahead and tracked America's diet using Ngram. Following her lead, I couldn't help but wonder how various environmental terms have played out in literature over the past 100 or so years.

Ben Jervey More Info

Ben is a writer and editor covering climate change, energy, and environment, and is currently the Climate and Energy Media Fellow at Vermont Law School. He was the original Environment Editor at GOOD Magazine and his work has appeared regularly in National Geographic News, Grist, DeSmogBlog, and OnEarth. He recently worked with the non-profit Focus the Nation to publish an Energy 101 primer. When living in New York City, he wrote a book, The Big Green Apple, on how to live a lower impact life in the city. A bicycle enthusiast, Ben has ridden across the United States and through much of Europe.
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Tracking the Language of the Environment