Harvard and Google have teamed up to create the Ngram project which searches through all of Google Books since 1800 and looks for references to certain keywords. This helps to identify interesting – although not always scholarly – trend analysis on what people were viewing as important topics of the time. Case in point, did you know that the age old “apples versus oranges” debate has always had a clear winner? Yes it’s Apples now, Apples then, and based on current trend … Apples in the future that will capture the publics imagination more. That said, what can only be seen as a worrying trend is Tomatoes rise to prominence at the expense of the venerable Orange which can only be seen as struggling to hold relevancy.
Poor Oranges; will they make a comeback? Who knows but keep your browser pointed at Ngram and you can keep up to date on this worrying trend.
p.s. in a less interesting but related topic, check out Google Fight: http://www.googlefight.com