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Google Ngram viewer allows one to compare the frequencies of a set of phrases over time. It even allows you to restrict that comparison to an American corpus, or separately to an English one.

What I am wondering if there is any way to compare the frequency of one word/phrase over time between American and English? Either through Google Ngram or something else. I couldn't really find anything on google (itself or by using it).

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There's a scale. You can do two Ngrams and look at the numbers on the left. I don't know whether there's any software clever enough to combine them. –  Peter Shor Jun 20 '11 at 23:25

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up vote 6 down vote accepted

On Google's Ngram viewer you can set the corpus to be American English or British English, and get a graph for each. You can then compare the y-axis values, being careful to note that Google autoscales it.

For example: American English and British English.

You can also download the datasets of each corpus if you'd like to do your own data processing.

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But we mustn't forget that nGrams is a record drawn only from printed books. No newspapers, no magazines and, most importantly of all, no speech. –  Barrie England Jan 8 '12 at 10:21
@Barrie: Well, some newspapers and magazines have been re-published in books, and some are included, but you make a good point. –  Hugo Jan 8 '12 at 10:32

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