[Corpora-List] Google searches as linguistic evidence
fanny.meunier at uclouvain.be
Thu Dec 7 13:51:03 CET 2006
Your question puzzled me and I googled "a
worshop" (7840000 hits) vs "an workshop" (21500 hits).
It struck me that they were quite a lot of German refs such as
Sie bitte an workshop at ... (= sthg like: please see workshop at ...)
schicken Sie bitte eine Email an workshop (= sthg
like: please send an e-mail to workshop at ...)
direkt per E-Mail an workshop at ... (= directly via e-mail to workshop at ...)
Food for thought...
All the best,
Le 13:13 7/12/2006,Diana Maynard écrit:
>No problem, it was my fault for being too hasty also.
>I agree entirely.
>Another little story....
>A non-English colleague asked me the other day
>if the correct phrase was "a workshop" or "an
>workshop". I was quite surprised at the
>question, especially as the colleague said he
>had searched for both on Google as he was not
>sure which to use, and found more occurrences of
>the former, but still many occurrences of the
>latter. He also said that to him the
>pronunciation of the latter sounded better
>(which I found odd as I actually found it quite
>difficult to pronounce, but perhaps that's a non-native speaker thing).
>I checked on Google and he was right about the occurrences.
>Are there any times when it would be OK to use
>"an" before a word beginning with "w"?
>I'd be interested to know what the BNC or other corpora show up on that.
>Ramesh Krishnamurthy wrote:
>>Sorry about the brevity of my previous email.
>>I didn't mean to be rude, just in a hurry as usual...
>>But I was raising a genuine concern of mine. An
>>experience last year: challenged in
>>my daughter's school playground by 2 mothers
>>who had heard of my involvement with
>>writing dictionaries, I was asked to resolve
>>their dispute: "is unpunctual a word, can I
>>It was not listed in any of the printed 6 or 7 native-speaker (US and UK) and
>>learner's dictionaries I looked at. There were
>>15 occurrences in Bank of English (5 in British
>>Magazines, 4 in Independent, and a few
>>one-offs), so below the normal threshold for inclusion
>>in Cobuild at the time.
>>But I found 4320 hits on Google (43,100 today!
>>- so has its usage increased, or has Google's
>>trawl just got bigger?), *mostly entries in
>>online dictionaries (based on each other?)*...
>>but also 9000+ for impunctual, 5000 for non-punctual,
>>500 for nonpunctual, 400 for contrapunctual, 11
>>for apunctual, and 7 for anti-punctual...
>>When I looked closer at the hits, most of the
>>hits for impunctual were from a 1913 USA dictionary,
>>most of the hits for non(-)punctual were
>>(technical use) from linguistics texts, and
>>most hits for contrapunctual were from music texts.
>>So I told the mothers that unpunctual was a valid word form
>>(ie created according to valid derivational rules)
>>but that it wasn't very widely used.
>>PS I've just noticed a discussion on unpunctual at
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