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  1. jutfrank's Avatar
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    #11

    Re: If it/this/that pleases you, you can go first.

    Quote Originally Posted by Piscean View Post
    A reminder to be careful when interpreting ngram data. This is not a valid comparison.

    The result for the string if you like counts all sequences of those words (including those from phrases such as if you like X), not just those that are equivalent in meaning to if it pleases you.

    Last edited by jutfrank; 13-Jul-2019 at 16:37.

  2. Phaedrus's Avatar
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    #12

    Re: If it/this/that pleases you, you can go first.

    Quote Originally Posted by jutfrank View Post
    A reminder to be careful when interpreting ngram data. This is not a valid comparison.

    The result for the string if you like counts all sequences of those words (including those from phrases such as if you like X), not just those that are equivalent in meaning to if it pleases you.
    What would be helpful in this case, to exclude most of the irrelevant examples, is to have the Ngram include punctuation. Here are the COCA results:

    if you like ,: 754
    if it pleases you ,: 9
    if this pleases you ,: 0
    if that pleases you ,: 0

    Of the 9 results for "if it pleases you" followed by a comma, all are categorized as fiction, and only one is in sentence-initial position.

    ". if you like ,": 100
    ". if it pleases you ,": 0
    ". if this pleases you ,": 0
    ". if that pleases you ,": 0

    If anyone still doubts which phrase is the most commonly used, at least in AmE, I really don't know what else to say. It couldn't possibly be clearer.
    Last edited by Phaedrus; 13-Jul-2019 at 18:05.

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