New words and old words

Forty years of evolving State of the Union themes

On Tuesday, there were some words that appeared for the first time in the 2014 State of the Union address. They included: drone, bacteria, centrifuges, detainee, Hezbollah, Microsoft, pizza and smartphones. The word "drone" had only appeared once before, in 1829, referring to a person. The graphs below show how often other key words have appeared over the last four decades.

State of the Union word pair comparisons
Word use per 10,000 words spoken

SOURCE: The American Presidency Project. GRAPHIC: Richard Johnson and Ted Mellnik / The Washington Post. Published Jan. 28, 2014.

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