I am almost at a loss to explain my feelings towards Google’s new tool (which threatens to become the most addictive game since the Ouija board or bible dowsing): Books Ngram Viewer.
I have made a ton of queries to this thing and can only marvel at what is probably some kind of EEG (graph) of the collective consciousness. Google, you done good.
UPDATE: Erik Ellison sent me this beautiful graph and helped me discover that the dates can be pushed back to 1500. 500 years of the printed word, digitized. It gives me goosebumps.