The Sunlight Foundation has updated and relaunched its Capitol Words project, a data-viz tool that allows you to easily search the Congressional Record for specific phrases, going back to 1996. It then spits out the results in nice graphical form. We at Intel are just nerdy enough to be quite jazzed about this. Some highlights from our brief time playing around with the tool.
• New York’s delegation says the word Israel more than any other delegation. Also popular with our congressmen: Brooklyn, rollcall, and, somewhat inexplicably, inserting. Mad Libs that all together.
• Newt Gingrich is, quite shockingly, not the most frequent user of the word fundamental. That honor goes to Ted Kennedy. To be fair to Newt, he was only in office during two years of the tool’s data range.
• Use of the word sexy peaked in February 1998. Oh, the Clinton era.
• Democrats say both war and peace more than Republicans.
• Congress is more happy than sad, which is the reverse of the way Congress makes America feel.
• The site also points out words that have been said a lot recently. For instance, mention of the word cockspur was popular on December 9, which, sadly, had to do with a discussion about some random island in Georgia, and was not the result of a bawdy Shakespearean-inflected interlude on the floor of Congress.