3.15 concordances, cont. (65)

Wed, 10 May 89 00:11:12 EDT

Humanist Discussion Group, Vol. 3, No. 15. Wednesday, 10 May 1989.

(1) Date: Tue, 09 May 89 07:32:34 EDT (18 lines)
From: David Megginson <MEGGIN@vm.epas.utoronto.ca>
Subject: Re: 3.7 concordances, cont. (48)

(2) Date: 10 May 1989 (27 lines)
From: Willard McCarty <MCCARTY@vm.epas.utoronto.ca>
Subject: used concordances, cheap!

(1) --------------------------------------------------------------------
Date: Tue, 09 May 89 07:32:34 EDT
From: David Megginson <MEGGIN@vm.epas.utoronto.ca>
Subject: Re: 3.7 concordances, cont. (48)

The Dictionary of Old English had, perhaps, the best solution to
publishing a concordance. They put out the regular microfiche
concordance to Old English literature less stop-words, then released
the high-frequency concordance which contains only the stop-words.
The literary users are happy because they can get at the words they
want without having to deal with thousands of 'ic', but the
philologists and linguists (can _you_ see the difference?) can get
their hands dirty with more 'ic' than they ever dreamed of.

Of course, hard-copy (or microfiche) concordances should already be
a thing of the past. Even interactive concording programs as
simplistic as WordCruncher leave them out in the cold.

David Megginson <MEGGIN@vm.epas.utoronto.ca>
(2) --------------------------------------------------------------------
Date: 9 May 1989
From: Willard McCarty <MCCARTY@vm.epas.utoronto.ca>
Subject: used concordances, cheap!

I canna resist. Printed concordances are not entirely a thing of the
past. Should they be? In theory, perhaps; as a mathematician would
say, they've been trivialized. But are we sure we never will want them,
even after the glorious day arrives when all is available online?

Certainly for the poor slob who now merely hobbles along with his
12MHz AT, to whom multitasking is a distant dream, who simultaneously
shudders to think of the work of marking-up the whole of Ovid for
WordCruncher or TACT and observes that even on a NeXT (which can't run
either) he'd be no better off even if he could afford the future,
well..... All he has to do is lean backwards a foot or two and grab the
old printed concordance and multitask multimediawise. It is possible
to multitask on a large flat table with several good reference books,
some of which may be concordances into which a great deal of good
thinking has been put.

Ok, ok (and what is the etymology of that word, eh?) I know about
the virtues of interactive concordance programs and what is to be gained
by having all the words available -- e.g., try "in" and variants
in the 9th book of Paradise Lost -- but isn't there a serious question
here, the answer to which is not obvious? Or am I just being thick?

Willard McCarty