The word "spiderman" appeared in books in the 1920s, long before the famed Marvel superhero debuted in the early '60s. And the term "smartphone" was in use during the first decade of the 20th century, a century before anyone picked up their first iPhone.
How do I know all this? By using a new tool from Google called the Ngram Viewer. Launched by the search giant yesterday, this tool lets you trace the usage of a word or phrase during the past five centuries--five centuries!--by seeing how often it's appeared in books over that … Read more