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  1. #1
    Linguist__ is offline Senior Member
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    Using Google search for language use...

    <rant>

    I've noticed that people often use Google to search for a phrase, whether it be to check grammar, or see an idiom in use. I wonder how effective this is.

    First, I need to ask what is it they do? Search for the term within quotes - ""?

    I can see it being effective for the use of idioms, perhaps, if you can filter through what is good and what is not good (which I'd have trouble doing myself).

    However, for checking grammar I think it's a bad idea. Anyone who has used a chat room, or blog, or seen comments on a blog/youtube video etc etc will know how lackadaisical a vast number of people are with their use of language. They know correct English, and they know what they are typing is incorrect. I don't know why they type this way, and I doubt they do either, but if people are searching for these phrases and results are being shown, they use them to say 'But, there are 6,000,000 results on google for it'. I don't think it should be counted at all.

    This is even more true when the thing searched for is one word, or a couple of words.

    Should it be encouraged, or discouraged? Does the fact that "ten items or less" gets 9 times more results than "ten items or fewer" make it 'more correct'?

    I certainly don't think so, at all, and I do think it should be discouraged. I am all for language being a living, dynamic entity. But basing 'correctness' on the results from an internet search just doesn't seem the way to go!

    </rant>

  2. #2
    Abstract Idea is offline Key Member
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    Re: Using Google search for language use...

    Quote Originally Posted by Linguist__ View Post
    <rant>

    I've noticed that people often use Google to search for a phrase, whether it be to check grammar, or see an idiom in use. I wonder how effective this is.

    First, I need to ask what is it they do? Search for the term within quotes - ""?

    I can see it being effective for the use of idioms, perhaps, if you can filter through what is good and what is not good (which I'd have trouble doing myself).

    However, for checking grammar I think it's a bad idea. Anyone who has used a chat room, or blog, or seen comments on a blog/youtube video etc etc will know how lackadaisical a vast number of people are with their use of language. They know correct English, and they know what they are typing is incorrect. I don't know why they type this way, and I doubt they do either, but if people are searching for these phrases and results are being shown, they use them to say 'But, there are 6,000,000 results on google for it'. I don't think it should be counted at all.

    This is even more true when the thing searched for is one word, or a couple of words.

    Should it be encouraged, or discouraged? Does the fact that "ten items or less" gets 9 times more results than "ten items or fewer" make it 'more correct'?

    I certainly don't think so, at all, and I do think it should be discouraged. I am all for language being a living, dynamic entity. But basing 'correctness' on the results from an internet search just doesn't seem the way to go!

    </rant>

    I agree with you that is a dangerous way of living. However, you can't deny its benefits. Of course you must be very careful. I guess what you are saying about language applies to many other fields when it comes to the use of Internet. I have seen many other field professionals which look up for technical terms just relying on google. Nowadays anyone can run a website, write whatever comes to his or her mind, and try to put it in the first lines of google searchs. It is indeed dangerous.

    I do not know wheter we should encourage or discourage other people to do it. However I also do not know whether we should encourage people (specially young people) to study math, philosophy, English or Portuguese.

    By the way, for specific linguistic uses, there are the famous language database "corpus", suitable for searchs and serious studies.

  3. #3
    euncu's Avatar
    euncu is offline Senior Member
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    Re: Using Google search for language use...

    CORPORA: 45-400 million words each: free online access

    By following this link one can get plenty of sentences quoted from printed materials such as newspaper, magazines, etc. .Concidering that such printed materials is edited before it is printed, we can assume them as more valuable sources than some internet sites when it comes to find the examples of proper English-usage. If I am not able to find what I'm looking for, only then googling is an option for me.

  4. #4
    Abstract Idea is offline Key Member
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    Re: Using Google search for language use...

    Sorry, your screen resolution must be at least 1024 x 768 to use the corpus.

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