Is Empson responsible for "ambiguity" uptick? | Poetry & Contingency
A quick addendum to yesterday's post on the increase of metpahor and ambiguity in the Google books corpus. A faithful correspondent writes that at the time Paul Ricoeur's The Rule of Metaphor (La metaphore vive) came out in 1978 (1975), it seemed everyone was all of a sudden talking about metaphor. For once, the case-sensitivity of Google n-grams comes in handy, as it allows one to isolate book titles. So how much talking (=writing) was there about Ricoeur's book, and how does it compare to the overall increase of the key term, in both longitude and amplitude? My belief is that Google Books does not try to filter out page headers, so it's reasonable to suppose that, depending on the edition, it might be that every second page of The Rule of Metaphor is included in the count below, along with mentions and references to it in other works. The actual number of occurrences is of course very small in a corpus so large. But since we're interested in the relative shapes of the curves and not