A few weeks ago, when I wrote about the connection between the words freebooter and filibuster, I linked to this chart showing the frequency with which the two words have been used in the last couple of centuries:
I generated this chart in Google’s Ngram Viewer. The Ngram viewer is a great resource for a writer, or for anybody who is interested in the ways language has changed since 1800. It’s a search tool that combs through the forty million books and periodicals that have been scanned into Google books and calculates the frequency with which a word appeared in print each year from 1800 to the (almost) present.
In this chart you can see that the word ague (meaning “chills and fever”) isn’t nearly as popular as it used to be:
Why did ague drop off a cliff after 1880? I don’t know. But I heard a lot of people complaining of chills and fever after they got the Covid shot; I didn’t hear anybody complaining of ague.Read More