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Posts from the ‘Memeograms’ Category


Monday Morning Memeogram: Words of Space

It’s been a little while since creating a new memeogram, so to get back in the groove, I’ll pick a crossover topic: space.

Mandatory refresher training: these memeograms plot the year at which a given word or phrase peaks in frequency within the Google Books database.

If there’s a story to this graphic, it is that apparently there have been three “eras” of publishing on space-related topics: early in the space race (early 1960s), in the wake of Challenger (late 1980s) and millennial (turn of the century).   Read more »


Monday Morning Memeogram: iTunes Fancy

Well, OK, technically this isn’t a memeogram as I’ve officially defined it, I just borrowed some of the design motif.   And it’s of interest to just about no one but me.   But on the 8th anniversary of using iTunes, I thought I’d have some fun with my cumulative play counts. Read more »


Monday Morning Memeogram: Words of Work (Recap)

This week, a compilation of the all the Words of Labor, of Sale, of Capital, and of Perfidy.

For those just joining, these memeograms plot the year in which various words and phrases “peaked” in frequency in the database of all books scanned and stored by GoogleBooks.  The last few weeks have been devoted to ‘words of the workplace’.

Read more »


Monday Morning Memeogram: The Language of Love

In honor of Cupid’s day, today’s memeogram runs the gamut from puppy love to friends with benefits.  My personal favorite is the 1940 euphemism not the marrying kind, but we won’t linger there. Read more »


Monday Morning Memeogram: Words of Capital and Perfidy

Third in my series of Monday morning memeograms.   This week, the captains of industry prevail and king Capitalism is the theme.  As memeograms, capitalism is a little boring, so I’m also including a peek at its dark underbelly.

I’m now going to have to find a way to re-insert bunco [1907] into my working vocabulary.  The proliferation of flavors of white collar crime in recent years is particularly interesting.

Read more »


Monday Morning Memeogram: Words of Sale

Second in my series of “work-themed” Monday morning memeograms.

Last week’s theme was blue collar, this week, the focus is white collar [black font] and management [brown font].   My primary take-home here is: work has gotten a heck of a lot more complicated over time.

There are some great little nostalgic nuggets: Christmas bonus peaking in 1946 (how retro…), Madison Avenue [1961] (pour me a Martini, Don Draper), Japanese industry [1987] (lifetime corporate loyalty, now that’s quaint), Read more »


Monday Morning Memeogram: Words of Labor

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] Read more »


Introducing: The Memeogram

Or, Language Is A Virus (2010 Remix)

Google Books has given the gift of public Ngrams for the holidays, and it has inspired me to officially design a new visualization, and coin a new term:  the memeogram.   Since Google itself only returns 16 results in a search for “memeogram”, I’m pretty confident that this word does not yet exist, and I get squatters’ rights as of 29 December 2010.

  • Memeogram (meem-ey-oh-gram) [n]:   A graph composed of plotting the peak frequency vs time of peak frequency for keywords / ngrams / memes, with markers comprised of the words themselves.
  • Plain english: These graphs show the year at which individual words or phrases “peaked” in popularity (frequency of occurrence) in the database of all books scanned at GoogleBooks.

In the spirit of New Years resolutions, I have composed memeograms of several hundred “positive and aspirational” English words, broken out roughly categorically below.   Enjoy! Read more »