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fuck chastity, the rise and fall of prudery

I discovered, during a game I like to play with the web (pretending it’s still 1997, and that hyperlinks are meant to be clicked on, and not just ignored, I travel through the web and see where I end up), Google Ngrams, which let you see the frequency of words in published books over time.

The one I did in the picture above shows a really neat story, and points out the prudery of Victorian England so well. ‘Fuck’ was sprinkled quite liberally in books until the early 1800s, when ‘chastity’ and ‘chaste’ became much more common terms… and ‘fuck’ only reared it’s head again in books in the 60s or so… and has finally become more interesting again than chastity as an idea.

There’s all kinds of nerd games that you can play with ngrams, but as a nerd, I think it’s kinda cool.

So there.