Google has a new toy, the ngram viewer. They’ve indexed five million books containing roughly 5 billion unique words and date indexed them, so you can run frequency searches over time. Here’s what New Zealand looks like over the last couple decades:
The most boring explanation is a sample bias in the raw data, but can anyone come up with a more exciting theory as to why New Zealand was a hot subject in the 1980s?
Update: Ah, I’ve answered my own question: the search is case sensitive. Duh. Here’s what we really look like:
And here’s the important graph:
Ha ha! Those Aussies really sucked back there in the early 19th century, huh?