[Corpora-List] Numpties and bennies: Google searches as linguistic evidence

Ramesh Krishnamurthy r.krishnamurthy at aston.ac.uk
Fri Dec 8 11:07:02 CET 2006


Hi Roger


>Ramesh, of course, meant to write contrapuntal


I'm sorry, but you have not checked your facts - and should not assume typos!

:-)


I wrote "contrapunctual" and meant "contrapunctual".
(I am well aware of the musical term
contrapuntal, being a drummer of long standing myself).
My "research" was solely to do with forms derived from "punctual".
Today's Google for 'contrapunctual' (sic) yielded 1710 hits.
http://www.google.co.uk/search?q=contrapunctual&start=0&ie=utf-8&oe=utf-8

I do not know whether there is a genuine
distinction in meaning in musical terminology
between 'contrapuntal' and 'contrapunctual'.

But I noticed in today's Google hits that there
seems to be an extension (of the linguistic term?)
in the legal and political domains:


>Secondly the discussion aims at showing that

>contrapunctual law principles have ... It is

>proposed however that since this limitation of contrapunctual law ...

hermes.ssrn.com/sol3/papers.cfm?abstract_id=934067

>SSRN-European Constitutional Pluralism and the

>European Arrest Warrant: Contrapunctual

>Principles in Disharmony by Jan Komárek.

papers.ssrn.com/sol3/papers.cfm?abstract_id=934067


Best
Ramesh

At 16:44 07/12/2006, Roger Shlomo Harris wrote:

>Thursday 7th December 2006. London, U.K.

>

>

>

>Dear All

>

>Ramesh Krishnamurthy wrote:

>

> >>> and most hits for contrapunctual were from music texts.

>

>That's surprising. Contrapunctual suggests music which is played erratically

>so that notes are played too early or too late - that's how I play the piano

>after drinking too much beer. Ramesh, of course, meant to write contrapuntal

>which is a genuine music term but he was just testing to see whether we were

>asleep.

>

>Kind regards,

>

>Roger.

>(who periodically moonlights as a proof-reader.)

>

>

>

>

>

>----- Original Message -----

>From: <mailto:r.krishnamurthy at aston.ac.uk>Ramesh Krishnamurthy

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

>Cc:

><mailto:harold.somers at manchester.ac.uk>Harold

>Somers ; <mailto:corpora at lists.uib.no>corpora at lists.uib.no

>Sent: Thursday, December 07, 2006 12:06 PM

>Subject: Re: [Corpora-List] Numpties and

>bennies: Google searches as linguistic evidence

>

>Hi Diana

>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

>say unpunctual".

>

>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

>http://forum.wordreference.com/showthread.php?t=105391

>

>Best

>Ramesh

>

>

>

>At 09:36 07/12/2006, Diana Maynard wrote:

>>Yes, I should have been more explicit, I didn't mean in all cases!

>>Diana

>>

>>Ramesh Krishnamurthy wrote:

>>>

>>>>>I guess this demonstrates the power of the

>>>>>internet over the BNC as a corpus.....

>>>

>>>For rare events, events post-1994, and events

>>>beyond British English, perhaps...

>>>There's still the problem of reliability...

>

>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

>http://www.aston.ac.uk/lss/staff/krishnamurthyr.jsp

>

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


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
http://www.aston.ac.uk/lss/staff/krishnamurthyr.jsp

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