Gender association of names and nouns in English

Back when I was starting to study linguistics (in the 1980s), the syntax professors (Ivan Sag and Tom Wasow) made a point of using gender neutral names in their examples, names that can be used for both males and females, like Chris (Chris Evert and Chris Columbus), rather than John and Mary, which had typically been used in examples. The other day I was curious to see if we can get an idea of to what extent a name or a noun is used for females and males using Google Ngrams. We can, and here’s what I did.

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