Have you ever used Google Trends?  You can find the website here.  The home page tells you what subjects are “hot” because they have appeared frequently and recently in both blogs and news sources online.  Right now, for example “Kemba Walker,” star of the University of Connecticut basketball team, enroute again to the Final Four in the NCAA tournament, heads the list.

What happens when we ask how “hot” the word “memoir” is?  Apparently hot and getting hotter:  When you search the word, you can discover all kinds of information–a history of the search volume over the last five years, the countries where the search is hottest, and how the search volume compares to news mentions.

One function that allows you to compare two words to each other.  For example, let’s look at memoir and autobiography.  Usage of “autobiography” is going down.  “Memoir” is advancing.  Take any two words you are interested in and spot the trend.  Here is “spiritual” and “memoir.”  Just for fun, try “recession, bling.”

Isn’t it cool to have this way to find out which words are hot?

Anybody have another Google application you want to share?

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Shirley Showalter

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