[Corpora-List] Google searches as linguistic evidence

Ramesh Krishnamurthy r.krishnamurthy at aston.ac.uk
Thu Dec 7 15:42:01 CET 2006

Hi Diana

I don't know of many websites who use professional proof-readers,
whereas most book publishers used to
use them (I don't know what the current situation is, but I certainly
notice more typos in recently published
books than in the past). Newspapers use copy-editors, part of whose
function I think is to proof-read.

I have certainly noticed, at several of the academic institutions I
have been involved with, that time pressures
have increased, and so 'tolerance levels' for typos and poor wordings
in all forms of documentation (apart from
research papers, perhaps) are increasing. Also different people often
key/amend/upload the final version of
webpages, and don't have time to refer changes back to the
document-originator for approval...

And "cutting and pasting" creates quite a few errors, automatic
processes such as spellcheckers create others,
and above all I think a major problem of computer-dominated writing
is version control: people tend to keep so many
versions of documents, that inevitably the wrong one is often
selected for onward distribution...


At 13:33 07/12/2006, Diana Maynard wrote:

>Ramesh Krishnamurthy wrote:

>>I suspect many are typos. People are far less fussy about

>>proof-reading website information..

>Is this a fact, or just a gut reaction?

>Obviously it differs depending what type of material we're talking

>about - blogs are much more likely to contain typos and spelling

>mistakes etc. But if we're talking factual websites, are people less

>fussy about proofreading? I'm not sure that my gut feeling is the

>same, but no doubt there is evidence.

>If we use the whole web as a corpus, clearly there will be more

>mistakes than in e.g. the BNC, that's my point about having to weed

>out the rubbish if you do want to use the web as a reliable source.






Ramesh Krishnamurthy

Lecturer in English Studies, School of Languages and Social Sciences,
Aston University, Birmingham B4 7ET, UK
[Room NX08, North Wing of Main Building] ; Tel: +44 (0)121-204-3812 ;
Fax: +44 (0)121-204-3766

Project Leader, ACORN (Aston Corpus Network): http://corpus.aston.ac.uk/

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