Perhaps it’s not wise to read too much into this unless you’re a linguist. This is just for fun.

Google Ngram viewer reported back this much usage in American English books between 1700 and 2008 of the word “evangelical:”

It is an old word, perhaps more dominant in usage, particularly before the Civil War.  It would be interesting to see if those spikes between 1700 and 1850 aligned with various awakenings/revivals.


“evangelical” and “christian:” the two (case-sensitive) words were used just as much as the other especially before and around 1800.  Were the two used as synonyms, as Protestantism and Evangelicalism were practically perceived?

“evangelical christianity:”  Does the dip around 1850 reflect preoccupation with the Civil War or a new stylistic preference towards capitalization like in the next chart?

“Evangelical Christianity,” capitalized

“evangelical Christianity:” this is appears to be how the phrase is most commonly used today. (This website still needs to reflect this style of lowercase “evangelical” and capitalized “Christianity.”)

Jean-Baptiste Michel*, Yuan Kui Shen, Aviva Presser Aiden, Adrian Veres, Matthew K. Gray, William Brockman, The Google Books Team, Joseph P. Pickett, Dale Hoiberg, Dan Clancy, Peter Norvig, Jon Orwant, Steven Pinker, Martin A. Nowak, and Erez Lieberman Aiden*. Quantitative Analysis of Culture Using Millions of Digitized Books. Science (Published online ahead of print: 12/16/2010)

Yuri Lin, Jean-Baptiste Michel, Erez Lieberman Aiden, Jon Orwant, William Brockman, Slav Petrov. Syntactic Annotations for the Google Books Ngram Corpus. Proceedings of the 50th Annual Meeting of the Association for Computational Linguistics Volume 2: Demo Papers (ACL ’12) (2012)

 

Comments are closed.