The attached graph from Google Lab’s Beta “Books Ngram Viewer” lets you chart the mention of various words over time. It’s quite fascinating and thought-provoking.
One interesting comparison is the rise over time in the discussion of “human capital” vs. “social capital” as depicted in the following chart from 1900-2008 (blue is “human capital”, red is “social capital”. [The data comes from the 5.2 million books that Google has digitized as part of their book project.]
Basically it took “social capital” about a quarter of the amount of time to become as dominant a concept in academic as human capital. [Scholarly attention to social capital from 1993-2003, 10 years, advanced it to the point that it took “human capital” 40 years to achieve, from 1963-2003.
If you want to see a better image of the graph, click here.