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Chris -- 2011-03-08

#1 2009-10-22 05:04:26

Registered: 2009-08-15
Posts: 345

Using Google as a rough-and-ready corpus.

When you google an exact phrase you get a number of hits suggesting, sometimes, widespread use of a particular expression. Take for example “disillusion of parliament”, which gets a respectable 5,430 hits…...... until you look down and see that there are only two pages and 15 hits in total. A double modal (not an eggcorn of course but another interest of mine) like “might ought to” seems to get 104,000 hits but the pages give up at 847, or 927 including duplicates.

Are the page hits a ratio of the total hits? 15 of 5000 (+/- 1 in 330) doesn’t seem much like 900 of 100,000 (+/- 1 in 111).

So has “disillusion of parliament” been written down on web-pages and the like 5000 times or 15 times? If I’m missing something can someone explain it to me using fairly short words?



#2 2009-10-22 15:17:37

From: Victoria, BC
Registered: 2007-08-28
Posts: 2184

Re: Using Google as a rough-and-ready corpus.

Perhaps my post at the bottom of this thread will help you to understand the process.

I can’t think of any explanation for the hit estimate of “disillusion of parliament” being so high. In this case, Microsoft’s Bing search engine presents a more accurate estimate. Here is the Bing search. If you question Google’s estimate on the frequency of a given phrase, you should check with other search engines.



#3 2009-10-24 14:57:13

Registered: 2009-08-15
Posts: 345

Re: Using Google as a rough-and-ready corpus.

Thanks. You’ve been a great help.



#4 2009-11-02 09:08:17

Registered: 2009-11-02
Posts: 1

Re: Using Google as a rough-and-ready corpus.

Thanks for your help and guidance this will help many others who are using this forum.

Last edited by andrewmason (2009-11-02 09:09:15)



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