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January 24, 2011


Monday Morning Memeogram: Words of Labor

by brainoids

Here’s the first in a series of “work-themed” memeograms from the Google ngrams database, to warm up the brain on cold and dreary Monday mornings.

The red-shaded terms are intended to capture “blue collar” themes from a worker perspective; grey to capture production through an industry perspective.   Orange captures the disappearance of artisans/craftsmen.

Some of my favorites include vicious circle, peaking in 1969, and  rat race [1973] (“tune out, man!”), and coffee break [1977]as union demands go, a long way from 40 hour week [1945]. As someone who grew up in the 1980’s, the whole memeogram is interesting to me in showing how our focus on industrial production has shifted since then (the Japanese really had us spooked … but that’s fodder for next week’s memeogram).

Here’s a link to the graphic in PDF format: Memeogram_Labor.


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