Friday, December 19, 2008

Word frequency in the Congressional Record

Capitol Words visualizes word frequency in the Congressional Record. You can generate word usage frequency maps for particular words, lawmakers,  time spans or states. You can also compare the usage frequency of two words, e.g. "Iraq" and "Afghanistan"

Unfortunately, you cannot search for phrases like "information technology" (instead of telling you that up front,  the system simply joins your terms by deleting whatever spaces you type in the submission form - I hope this is not a new form of user friendliness). A search for the word "islam" shows the 10 most avid users of the word to be Republicans, with Peter Hoekstra topping the list. To see what else he's talking about, you can create a tagcloud like the one on the right. You can monitor word usage by current Congress, year, or interesting way to see which way the winds are blowing. The tag cloud below shows Hillary Clinton's most frequently used words. 

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