[Corpora-List] Google searches as linguistic evidence

William Fletcher fletcher at usna.edu
Thu Dec 7 14:53:00 CET 2006

I too was amazed that a number of _an workshop_ hits may be from native speakers.

Google advanced search specifying English as language and UK as domain drastically reduces the hit count for the an-variant. With these filters it is immediately obvious which usage predominates, by a factor of 20,000:1. (Some webpages with German text did slip by the filters; search engines often mislabel the language of a document, and have no way to identify multilingual text.)

All the examples of _an w*_ I found in the BNC seem to be _an'_ = _and_.

Bill Fletcher

---- Original message ----

>Date: Thu, 07 Dec 2006 12:58:46 +0000

>From: Diana Maynard <d.maynard at dcs.shef.ac.uk>

>Subject: Re: [Corpora-List] Google searches as linguistic evidence

>To: Fanny Meunier <fanny.meunier at uclouvain.be>

>Cc: corpora at lists.uib.no


>Indeed. I looked through some of them and there were some like that, but

>many genuine ones too



>Fanny Meunier wrote:

>> Hi there,


>> 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*@... (= 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*@... (= directly via e-mail to

>> workshop at ...)


>> Food for thought...


>> All the best,

>> Fanny





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