December 29, 2010

New Google Tool Shows Dominance of ‘Ombudsman’ Over Variants

Frequency of ‘Ombudsman,’ ‘Ombudsperson,’ and ‘Ombuds’ in books scanned by Google.
Google's latest tool, the Ngram Viewer, offers a way to explore data from every book that Google has scanned. The Ngram Viewer plots the frequency of user-specified terms over any time period from 1800 to the present. The results for ‘Ombudsman,’ ‘Ombudsperson,’ and ‘Ombuds’ show that the original version of the term is used most frequently and increasingly so. (Other variants, such as ‘Ombud,’ ‘Ombudswoman,’ and ‘Ombuddy’ barely register in the data.) These results seem to contradict other researchers who have concluded that ‘Ombudsman’ is falling out of favor. (Google Ngram Viewer.)

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