For Good and Evil: Joseph Smith and Google’s Book Ngram Viewer

[Cross posted from Sixteen Small Stones]

You may have heard about the cool new Book Ngram Viewer from Google Labs. The result of a joint effort by Harvard University, some traditional book publishers, and Google Books, the project uses a sample of 5 million books published between 1500 and the present to identify word and phrase frequencies relative to the number of words published each year. They call these phrase frequencies Ngrams.

While the sample size only represents 4% of books ever published, and the approach is often limited by the complexity of language usage, the project offers a fascinating (not to mention fun!) look not just into language, but into comparative cultural trends, historical events, fads, celebrity, and influence.

And best of all, Google has provided a free web-based interface so that anyone can play around with Ngram searches.

For instance, the Ngram Viewer can be used to compare the usage of the terms Mormon vs LDS:

Continue reading

ScriptureLog for WordPress – Flooding the Internet with The Book of Mormon

[Cross Posted from Sixteen Small Stones]

Before I get into the tedious specifics, let me get right to the main announcement.

Daniel Bartholomew and I are very excited to introduce you to ScriptureLog.

[We appear to be having some issues with our web host.  We hope to have it resolved soon. So if it doesn't load try again after a while.]

ScriptureLog

Scripturelog is a free, open source plugin for the popular WordPress blogging platform that turns WordPress into a collaborative online LDS scripture study journal.

scripturesThe plugin installs volumes of scripture into WordPress as hierarchical, inter-linking pages of books, chapters, and verses. Once the pages are installed, you can use the built-in features of WordPress by yourself or in collaboration with others to read the scriptures, take notes, and discuss the gospel.

Continue reading