Here’s a great idea: A website that lets users see The New York Times’ snooty wedding announcements as nothing but a collection of stats. WeddingCrunchers.com scours the Times’ Vows columns from all the way back to 1981 and spits back numbers and data.
The site is a fun waste of time. You can insert your own key words or ask the WeddingCrunchers to do it for you. A couple examples we tried were “chairman of the board” and “Republican” and “Democrat.” Chairman of the board peaked in 1996, and from 2003 to 2004, Republican appeared more often in Vows columns than Democrat.
Another interesting WeddingCrunchers feature is the Word Cloud. These illustrations show the most popular phrases by decade. This is a cool way to notice cultural trends, as evidenced by the phrase “is keeping her name,” which experienced quite the surge in the 2000s.
Give WeddingCrunchers a try. And do yourself a favor, keep the words you search as closely tied to the rich and privileged as possible. It’s more fun that way.