Sand Timer on a Sand Dune

Is Our Resource Use More Sustainable Than the Word Sustainable?

by Elaine Schwartz    •    Apr 2, 2014


Sustainable is unsustainable resource us

From: xkcd


Pondering sustainability through an xkcd lens took me to other “green” ngrams. As described by xkcd, the graph represents the frequency of the use of each word in Google books, 1800-2008:

clues about resource use in word ngrams

From: Google ngrams

Then I checked what we eat:

 Clues about resource use from Google ngrams

From: Google ngrams

Ngrams should provide some pretty good clues about our resource use.

Sources and Resources: If you want to investigate our ngram further, add some words or check out their math, do go to my ngram viewer. And here is some recent insight about ngrams from the Atlantic. For more xkcd, here is “sustainable.”

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