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12:16pm on Saturday, 13th May, 2006:

Essex University of Essex


Google's new trends facility is sweeping blogland, so I thought I'd do my bit and follow the, er, trend.

Formally, where I work (part-time) is known as the University of Essex. However, it's often written as Essex University. Which is the more popular?

Here's the answer.

What makes this a little more interesting is that because both phrases refer to the same institution, you'd expect the lines to be more or less in step. It turns out that yes, they are, but there are differences — higher peaks, lower troughs, jagged edges where the other line has smooth ones and so on. The big rises and falls are synchronised, though, to the day. This suggests that the names are indeed used interchangeably, rather than, say, one name being used less formally for gossipy references that might peak after an event or before an impending announcement.

Another interesting comparison is MMORPG versus virtual world. It looks as if that's a battle lost, although the term still has some currency in news articles. It doesn't look as grim as synthetic world versus virtual world, though, heh heh.

Needless to say, my own name doesn't register with the service.

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Copyright © 2006 Richard Bartle (richard@mud.co.uk).