Lately I've been thinking about how massive databases might change how we think about "anecdotal" evidence. You know the old trope, "The plural of anecdote is not data." But maybe it could become so.
The graph shows the frequency of the two words as they appear in English in all books scanned, covering 1800-2000. There is an amazing drop in the frequency of charity. Philanthropy barely budges, even through the creation of American foundations, the boom of philanthropic product innovation in the 1990s and the last decade in which philanthropy (we thought) was suddenly being talked about everywhere. Maybe we're talking about it, but it doesn't appear that we were writing about it.