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  1. #1
    D.C. Foster is offline Newbie
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    Using online corpora to shed light on the use of ‘good afternoon’ in conv. English

    I have been reading up on corpus linguistics in the use of online corpora such as the COCA and BNC. I was wondering if I would be able to use those corpora to help support the idea I have that ‘good afternoon’ is used far less in everyday speech then good morning or good night. I would also like to be able to show students when it is used (e.g. speaking to a crowd, working at a store etc. ) so they could apply it in the correct context.

    Is this a good road to go down or should I abandon my attempts?!

    Thanks kindly!

  2. #2
    emsr2d2's Avatar
    emsr2d2 is offline Moderator
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    Re: Using online corpora to shed light on the use of ‘good afternoon’ in conv. Englis

    Quote Originally Posted by D.C. Foster View Post
    I have been reading up on corpus linguistics in the use of online corpora such as the COCA and BNC. I was wondering if I would be able to use those corpora to help support the idea I have that ‘Good afternoon’ is used far less in everyday speech then than "Good morning" or "Good night". I would also like to be able to show students when it is used (e.g. speaking to a crowd, working at a store etc.) so they could apply it in the correct context.

    Is this a good road to go down or should I abandon my attempts? !

    Thanks. kindly!
    Wouldn't it be a good idea simply to teach your students how to use resources such as COCA and BNC themselves? I'm not sure if you're asking us whether you should use those resources generally, or if we think you should try to back up your own idea specifically about "Good afternoon". I'm not sure I agree with your idea about that, though. In the UK, in a formal context, all three are used equally commonly, along with "Good evening". Friends generally drop the "Good" part. If I greet someone I know, I just say "Morning/Afternoon/Evening!", dictated by the time of day, in a relatively bright, happy tone. Of course, "Good night" is reserved for when you go to bed, or when you and a friend part company after about 10pm.
    Remember - if you don't use correct capitalisation, punctuation and spacing, anything you write will be incorrect.

  3. #3
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    jutfrank is offline VIP Member
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    Re: Using online corpora to shed light on the use of ‘good afternoon’ in conv. Englis

    Quote Originally Posted by D.C. Foster View Post
    I was wondering if I would be able to use those corpora to help support the idea I have that ‘good afternoon’ is used far less in everyday speech then good morning or good night.
    Yes, that would be possible but remember that you're talking about a particular register of spoken English here so make sure you use an appropriate corpus. Also remember that these forms are very commonly abbreviated in a more casual register, where the 'good' part is omitted entirely. (Morning, everyone. Afternoon, Sir.) Are you going to include these uses?

    I would also like to be able to show students when it is used (e.g. speaking to a crowd, working at a store etc. ) so they could apply it in the correct context.
    Yes, that's sensible. Is this something that you feel is a learning priority for your particular group of students? Don't they already know this?

    Is this a good road to go down or should I abandon my attempts?!
    It doesn't sound like a very good place to spend your energy in. You'll have to justify it quite considerably.

  4. #4
    Tdol is offline Editor, UsingEnglish.com
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    Re: Using online corpora to shed light on the use of ‘good afternoon’ in conv. Englis

    Google Ngrams places it last in terms of frequency. However, that does not mean that you have proved your case IMO.

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