OED Advanced search

Joel S. Berson Berson at ATT.NET
Fri Dec 24 01:03:04 UTC 2010

At 12/23/2010 06:36 PM, Jesse Sheidlower wrote:

[To simplify, I've deleted portions of the preceding messages.]

> > >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 can do the search within five words, but you can't specify
>before or after.

It seems I can; see below.

>My point about was that you were not doing what you needed to
>do to do a "near" search. If you want to do a search within
>five words, you have to select "Near" instead of "And". Only
>then will the "One word"/"Five words"/etc. be functional.
> > >You should get two results (for CAT n.(1) and
> > >SHOOT v.) if you do the search correctly.

Specifying "shoot" in Quotation Text NEAR "cat" in Quotation Text and
Five Words does get me two results.  Good.

If I reverse the two words and CHECK "Ordered" I get zero
results.  So apparently "Ordered" does essentially let me specify
Before?  As the Help info says.  (But not After, but I can get that
by reversing the order of the two words and using Ordered?)

>How do I get to [the] quotation
> > easily?  Why am I given just the last three digits of the date, which
> > I guess is 1663?
>There's a row of tabs underneath the "Advanced search" banner,
>reading "Search in: Entries/Senses/Quotations".
>What you've done is search for examples of _shoot_ in the
>quotation text of an _entire entry_, together with examples of
>_cat_ in the quotation text of that _entire entry_.

Aha.  Advanced search in Quotations "shoot" NEAR "cat" five words
ordered gets me the two quotations.  Good.

> >      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?
>It's not. If you want to do this, you would select the
>"Quotations" tab in the Advanced search, and then if you
>search for "shoot" and "cat" you'll get four results from
>three entries,

I still get just two results.  Via Advanced search in Quotations
"shoot" in Quotation Text AND "cat".in Quotation Text.  One in cat,
n. and one in shoot, v.  (Am I really missing two instances?)

>and clicking on the text of the quotation will
>bring you directly to that quotation in the entry.

Yes.  The specific quotation appears at the top of my screen.  And
date, author, title, and Uncle Tom Cobley and all.  Excellent.  And I
can Go Back in my browser (actually, I have to; there's no
Previous/Next here) to the list of Advanced search results.  I think
I'm back in business.

Three suggestions:

1)  In Advanced search in Quotations, the five choices are
      Full Text
      Quotation Date
      Quotation Author
      Quotation Title
      Quotation Text

The OED has emulated the infelicitous style of the ESTC and the
British Library catalog, putting a word that appears in many of the
choices leftmost (in their case, "Word(s) anywhere", "Word(s) from
author", Word(s) from title"), .  Thus the OED requires four type-ins
of Q to get to Quotation Text.  Instead, follow the model of the
Harvard Libraries on-line catalog, and put a more unique word first:
      Full Text
      Date of Quotation
      Author of Quotation
      Title of Quotation (or possibly "Work Title"?)
      Text of Quotation

2)   In Advanced search results for in Quotation, placing the cursor
over the entry word brings up a display "view full entry" and a mini-
Help window "see this full entry".  But placing the cursor over the
quotation ALSO brings up the display "view full entry".  Nothing
indicates that one will go to a different spot, the quotation.

Also, placing the cursor over the entry word causes display of a URL
in the bottom panel (Netscape); placing the cursor over the quotation does not.

It would be very helpful if placing the cursor over the quotation
caused display of a mimi- Help window saying "see this quotation",
and secondarily if it also caused display of the (different)
URL.  Particularly since the Help information does not tell one that
one can select the quotation -- see next.

3)   Correct the Help / Advanced Search  / Advanced search results to
say what one two things one may click on and where one goes when "in
Quotations" has been selected.  The current text says only "Click on
any of the headwords in the list to open its entry."  (A similar
comment might apply to the third "scope",."in Senses".)


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

More information about the Ads-l mailing list