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#1 2012-01-01 01:31:35

patschwieterman
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From: California
Registered: 2005-10-25
Posts: 1665

Mark Liberman on a surprising Google ngram

Just a few days ago, Mark Liberman at Language Log looked at the surprising Google ngram for empathetic vs. empathic. Turns out the word most of us would consider less common—empathic—is not only way out ahead in use (according to the ngram) but seems to have been greatly increasing its lead over recent decades. Liberman speculates that the high proportion of technical material inventoried by Google Books leads to an inbuilt bias. As we turn to ngrams ever more frequently, it’s good to be reminded yet again that these Google tools have to be used with a certain degree of skepticism. LL post: http://languagelog.ldc.upenn.edu/nll/?p=3670#more-3670

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