gravitas numbers

Benjamin Zimmer bgzimmer at RCI.RUTGERS.EDU
Mon Nov 7 16:06:06 UTC 2005

On Mon, 7 Nov 2005 06:13:14 -0500, David Barnhart wrote:

>In the article posted about gravitas the following numbers were reported:
>"Media use of the word gravitas, according to search on Factiva, an
>aggregator of news and information. First used in 1924, according to the
>Oxford English Dictionary.
>Year No. of times used
>2000 2,644
>2001 2,205
>2002 2,609
>2003 3,185
>2004 4,070
>*2005 3,252
>• Through Nov. 2.
>On the Web"
>Surely, they did not just Google this, did they?  How meaningless.  What
>about duplications?  What about false positives?

I believe that "On the Web" is meant to introduce the links that follow
(M-W, etc.) The numbers are derived from a Factiva search, as explained.
Still not a very impressive "trend", given that the overall size of the
Factiva corpus also no doubt increases every year.

--Ben Zimmer

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