That Don’t Ballyhoo Me Much
May 13, 2020
I love the phrase “much ballyhooed”: I even used it as my Twitter bio for a while. Does anyone ever use any word besides “much” before “ballyhooed”? Has anything ever been described as “occasionally ballyhooed”?
To find out, I turned to a “trigrams” dataset that Google makes available on BigQuery. The provenance of this dataset is unclear, and documentation is lacking - this post from 2012 is the only explanation I’ve found of what the dataset is and how to query it. But you can still query it! Like so:
#standardSQL SELECT lower(`first`) as w0, lower(`second`) as w1, lower(`third`) as w2, sum(c.volume_count) as occurrences FROM `publicdata.samples.trigrams`, unnest(cell) as c WHERE lower(`third`) = 'ballyhooed' OR lower(`second`) = 'ballyhooed' group by 1, 2, 3 order by sum(c.volume_count) desc;
So, is anything ever ballyhooed less than “much”? According to the dataset, doesn’t look like it: