OED Advanced search

Joel S. Berson Berson at ATT.NET
Thu Dec 16 02:58:01 UTC 2010

Jesse, I think these questions are important enough that I am copying
the list with your reply to me.

At 12/15/2010 11:08 AM, Jesse Sheidlower wrote [off-list]:
>On Tue, Dec 14, 2010 at 05:20:28PM -0500, Joel S. Berson wrote:
> > Jesse,
> >
> > I don't seem to be able to get the behavior I want out of Advanced
> > Search.  (Using Internet Explorer even.)
> >
> > I searched for "shoot" in Quotation Text And "cat' in quotation
> > Text, Near Five Words, Ordered.  I get 84 results; none of the first
> > 20 have that pair of words.
>The "Near Five Words" dropdown list only applies to a "Near"
>or "Not Near" search, not to an "And" search (which is why
>that dropdown says "Options for NEAR/NOT NEAR"). You're doing
>an AND search and choosing an option that doesn't apply to it,
>so it's ignored.

So that means I cannot do a search with the new interface for "shoot"
within five words before "cat*"?  (I want to find, say, "shoot a cat"
and "shoot the cat" and "shoot cats".  I could previously.

>You should get two results (for CAT n.(1) and
>SHOOT v.) if you do the search correctly.

If I search for "shoot" in -Quotation Text And "cat" in -Quotation
Text I get 84 results.  Sorted by Entry:

1.  at, prep. ... 663 S. Butler Hudibras i.i.27 To shoot at Foes; and
sometimes Pul...  775
      Where is the "cat" in this?  How do I get to this quotation
easily?  Why am I given just the last three digits of the date, which
I guess is 1663?
      And apparently there is no way to select text from an Advanced
search  result ... although that would be useless given what is returned.
      If a quotation was an identifiable unit in the database that
could be displayed (although truncated), with *its* date and the
ability to select it in the old interface, how come that's absent from the new?

6.  cast, v. ...e Story of Whittington and his Cat. 1854 H. Miller
Schools & Sch...  c1200
      Here I get the date, author, and (part of) the title of some other work.

> > The dates in faint blue displayed to the right of the entry term
> > have no relationship to the quotation.  Are they instead the
> > earliest date of the entry word?  See next.
>Yes. The results you get back from a search in OED Online are
>the entries, not the individual quotations or definitions.

Is there *no* way to get individual quotations (or definitions) in
the OED Online?  That to me is several steps backward.  The OED
Online has given researchers a terrible burden in tracking quotations.


> > Also, I'd like to be able to click on a quotation and see that
> > quotation -- in toto, with its date.  When I click anywhere in the
> > quotation, I'm taken to the top of the OED entry for the term
> > associated with the quotation.
> >
> > Am I doing something wrong?
>No, it's just not how it works.

The American Dialect Society - http://www.americandialect.org

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