The Expansion of the Internet

The way we use the English language changes over time; surprisingly quickly, at some times, which we can easily see when reading English books from about a century ago. Sociological Linguist Dr. Shelby Gumball has been conducting a study for her whole life on this subject, and the results are finally in, with a curious observation:

“In 1950, when I was very young, you hardly heard the word ‘Internet’ at all. But, year by year, the usage of the word grew. For instance, in 1954, I heard the word ‘Internet’ used zero times. By the next year, that number had doubled, to a total of zero uses! Amazing expansion!”

The most curious part of this growth is that, starting in the early 1980’s, the use of the word “Internet” became infinitely larger, and continued to grow exponentially. With regards to the cause of this rapid increase, Dr. Gumball had this to say:

“Honestly, the only logical explanation for why the word has been used so much more than ever before is probably because we are talking more than ever before. I feel that it is a safe extrapolation to make, to say that using this word infinitely more than we ever did, implies that we use every word infinitely more.”

Dr. Gumball did express her concerns that we might be reaching “peak words,” or the point at which we simply cannot keep making words at the rate we have been. Judging from the numbers she has presented, she just might be right.


History Sunday: A Herbertologist Remembered

This week, we had a great loss in the world of science; Clancy Sorbet, an amateur researcher, road scholar, and eventually, professor. Sorbet was a socioetymologist, which is a rare science category that focuses on the behavior of people as it correlates to their name. Specifically, Sorbet made a huge leap in research regarding people named Herbert.

Sorbet was born in 1915, a year in which Herbert was a common boys name (alongside William, John, and Murphitzniklaus). He grew up alongside many boys named Herbert, and became curious as to their similarities, as well as their differences. Most of these observations were noted in his 1957 journal, titled “The Importance of Being Herbert.” Here is a passage:

“Donald and Donald seem to be very similar in some ways, ways that I speculate are correlated to a “name gene.” For example, they both have similar facial features: they both have noses, mouths, eyes, etc. I found this amazing, and somewhat surprising.”

(This passage may seem confusing, but Sorbet changed the names as an ethical concern. He never realized that the title did somewhat give it away, and generally the last name is more important to protect.)

We contacted the esteemed Dr.¬†Murphitzniklaus Smith regarding his teacher’s death. This is what he had to say:

“Professor Sorbet was a huge influence; he was one of the first scientists to study common names. If he hadn’t moved into that unexplored territory, why, no one would ever have researched a common name like my own. I would have had insight into my rare last name, but it’s better to have both.”

We would like to conclude by saying that Clancy Sorbet will live on eternally, and carry his legacy forward. However, the name Herbert went extinct in 2002, and now it is illegal to use it, so his work is absolutely worthless. That being said, without Clancy Sorbet, we wouldn’t have nearly as much precious useless information, which is now being sold at a hefty price tag, inflated by trivia game show demand.