Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Titanic Ngram, 1912-1997


I'm trying to remember the name of a poem written during WWI, The poet is writing it from the trenches and he is envisioning the future, the place where he and others are suffering, being turned into a tourist attraction, with people casually traipsing all over the place. "Please put your candy wrappers in the bins," says the guide or something like it.

The above picture is a Google Ngram using the word "Titanic". English. An ngram is a sampling of mentions from about 2000 documents. No surprise, the word Titanic peaked in 1912 and in 1997 or so, with the release of the movie that went on to become the top grossing movie of all time.

A Hollywood mega-success. A perfect balance of romance and action with two beautiful young actors in their beautiful prime.

And the 3D version has just been released, on the 100th anniversary of the Titanic's sinking.

James Cameron is doing just what the soldier in the trenches is doing. Well, he's interested in the event from all angles.

I'm doing the same. I'm trying to persuade people to read Threshold Girl my story about a college girl, Flora Nicholson, in 1911/12, based on real letters.

In one of the letters, belonging to her sister Edith, a teacher in Westmount (Montreal) the sister writes. "The sinking of the Titanic has cast a gloom over the city. It's all people can talk about."

It's all they could talk about in France, too as the French Titanic ngram reveals. But not in Germany oddly enough. In 1912 anyway. The Germans liked the James Cameron movie as much as anyone.


French Titanic ngram


German Titanic ngram. Germany was gearing up for war in 1912. You'd think they would have played up this disaster, out of Glasgow.