[Corpora-List] Numpties and bennies: Google searches as linguistic evidence
r.krishnamurthy at aston.ac.uk
Fri Dec 8 11:07:02 CET 2006
>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.
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 ...
>SSRN-European Constitutional Pluralism and the
>European Arrest Warrant: Contrapunctual
>Principles in Disharmony by Jan Komárek.
At 16:44 07/12/2006, Roger Shlomo Harris wrote:
>Thursday 7th December 2006. London, U.K.
>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
>(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
><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
>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
>At 09:36 07/12/2006, Diana Maynard wrote:
>>Yes, I should have been more explicit, I didn't mean in all cases!
>>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...
>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/
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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