We know you don't want to hear this, Stephen King, but you have competition. Researchers recently looked through a Google database of books from between 1900 to 2000 that included about 4 percent of everything published in that time period. They were searching for words that communicated six emotions: anger, disgust, fear, joy, sadness and surprise. What they found was that the use of emotional words in books dropped sharply from 1900 to 2000, though it spiked between 1920-1940, and 1960-1980. But the use of words connoting fear started to steadily climb around 1980, even as the incidence of other emotions began to level off. Credit the rise of the modern horror genre, courtesy of Stephen King? Or maybe everyone finally got sick of romance novels. [Source]
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