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Since the launch of Reddit — the online link-sharing and commenting platform — in June 2005, the site has become the fourth-most-visited in the U.S., and its users have posted billions of 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: As of the end of 2015, the site’s visitors were mostly 35 or younger, and about 80 percent were 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 since late 2007 and built the tool above, which enables you to search for a word or phrase to see how its popularity has changed over time. We’ve updated the tool to include all comments through the end of July 2017.
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