How The Internet* Talks
*Well, the mostly young and mostly male users of Reddit, anyway.
Since the launch of Reddit — the online link-sharing and commenting platform — in June 2005, the site’s monthly visitors have grown to more than 200 million, and users have posted more than 1.7 billion comments. Those comments are filled with abbreviations, Internet memes and slang, much like the rest of the Web, and collectively they form a trove of data about how people use language online. (Some people, at least: The site’s visitors are mostly 35 or younger, and about 80 percent are male, according to Google Display Planner’s inferred demographics. So Reddit is not representative of the Internet as a whole.)
To get a sense of the language used on Reddit, we parsed every comment from late 2007 through August 2015 and built the tool above, which enables you to search for a word or phrase to see how its popularity has changed over time.