“My first thought that day was that while I was asleep I’d made more money than she had all year. And I’d done it with a mobile-phone game about shooting fish with a machine gun.”
“It began with a curiosity about why the ten most common verbs in the English language are irregular, even though the vast majority of verbs are regular. Their discovery, arrived at through data-mining several centuries’ worth of texts, amounts to a sort of linguistic natural selection: the more frequently an irregular verb is used, the less likely it is to be regularized over time. It was the Ngram Viewer, and access to Google’s vast library of digitized books, that enabled this discovery.”
— Mark O’Connell
reads “Uncharted: Big Data as a Lens on Human Culture,” a new book by the scientists Erez Aiden and Jean-Baptiste Michel, founders of the field they call “culturomics”: http://nyr.kr/OBr9bg
This was already known in psycholinguistics.