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Sunday, December 19, 2010

Google's Ngram Viewer Helps Authors

Grammarians, linguists, academicians, historians, and book researchers are going to love this! Google's new Ngram Viewer lets us research trends in grammar and word usage.

So when did "hepcat" enter our vocabulary? If you write fiction, you can use it to avoid using that word in your dialogue before anyone knew what a hepcat was. And you can avoid letting a cool cat use it in his dialogue after it rode it's decline.

Yeah, frugal! This tool is free.

Unfortunately, Ngram Viewer does not access the 15 million books Google has digitized since 2004. But it's still a neat-o (when did "neat-o" enter our lexicon and am I dating myself by using it?) little tool.

Another tool that makes brushup fun for writers is Great Little Last-Minute Editing Tips. It will make a great stocking stuffer for writers, too!

Carolyn Howard-Johnson edits, consults. and speaks on issues of publishing. Find her The Frugal Editor: Put Your Best Book Forward to Avoid Humiliation and Ensure Success at Learn more about her other authors' aids at, where writers will find lists and other helps on the Resources for Writers page. She blogs on all things publishing (not just editing!) at her Sharing with Writers blog. She tweets writers' resources at Please tweet this post to your followers. We all need a little help with editing. (-:

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