Google unveiled version 2.0 of the popular Google Books Ngram viewer. This is now available online. Ngram allows viewers to see how words and phrases have evolved over a period of time. For this Google used dataset from more than 30 million print books that Google has scanned while working with different libraries all over the world.
This service was fist launched in December 2010. Ngram was primarily launched as research tool to be used by lexicographers, linguists, historians, and others. In the past 22 months more than 45 million word comparisons have already been created using Ngram. The new version is using even more data from more books and plus the technology, OCR (optical character recognition), that Google uses for scanning has improved allowing for better comparison. There has been a lot of criticism in the past about the quality of Google’s scanning accuracy, however with recent changes and improvements results are much better. Google further adds that no scanning method is 100 percent accurate but this should not prevent users from using this service.
The new version can identify parts of speech and make a quick comparison of how the word has been used.
This tool takes some time to understand but when understood it proves to be a very effective resource that can be used for general information as well as education. Anyone who is interested in the history of a language or anyone that wants to track the evolution of the language should use this resource.