Using the BNC

Jonathon Green slang at BLUEYONDER.CO.UK
Mon Dec 16 14:16:01 UTC 2002

The British National Corpus has been mentioned as a good, if ageing (and of
course British) source of lexicographical information. It may be that I am
missing something, but my own experience of the Corpus is that while it
offers a wide range of material (albeit less slang than I might desire) and
its listings give a reference to a publication, as a three-letter/digit
abbreviation, e.g.

C8E The Buddha of suburbia. Kureishi, Hanif. London: Faber & Faber Ltd, 1990

what it does not do, however, is give a page number for the material cited.
It gives a page range (presumably those read for the Corpus), e.g. 'pp.
62-165' and the number of  's-units' and the total word count, but, as I
say, no page number as such. This, for my purposes, and I would imagine
those of other lexicographers, renders it more interesting than practically

Always willing to confess ignorance, I am happy to stand corrected. As I
say, I may be missing something. If any user of the BNC can put me right -
or simply join in my regrets - than I would be most grateful.

Jonathon Green

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