A simple question, and perhaps posted wrongly here, but this is sort-of meta and I have been googling for quite some time but I could not find what I am looking for, which tool do some users use to see e.g. how many times the word "Ponder" or "ponder on" have been used in the last 2-3 decades? I see these statistics frequently in the answers?

Much appreciated.

  • 1
    As Lawrence notes in an answer below, Ngram provides statistics on the relative frequency of two or more words or phrases. As far as I know, however, the only way to see how many nonduplicate matches for a particular phrase over a particular number of years appear in the Google Books search results that underlie the Ngram chart is to count them one by one. The process is as tedious as it sounds.
    – Sven Yargs
    Apr 2 '16 at 5:45

If you're referring to the Google Books Ngram Viewer, just click the link and type the phrases with a comma in between:

Ponder,ponder on

You can set a few parameters such as the period of interest (e.g. 1990 to 2010). There's also a check-box for you to specify whether you would like the search to be case sensitive or case insensitive.

  • This was it! Thank you very much :)
    – shotdown
    Apr 2 '16 at 15:57
  • 1
    @shotdown You're welcome. Have fun with Ngram :) .
    – Lawrence
    Apr 2 '16 at 16:07

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