My kids watch this show on NHK called Cooking Idol Ai My Mine. Great show about a girl who is a real live cooking show host. Shows like these truly give kids imagination and creativity.
But I was really disappointed in the looseness of their script writing in this dialogue shown the other day:
Child: “Are there truly angels in the world, Mine?”
Mine: “Yes, there are … Probably.”
So which is it, Mine – yes or maybe?
Were they (the script writers) afraid to take sides on this issue? Afterall, Japan is not a Christian nation (there is no concept of angel in Buddhism). Japanese Children are indecisive like this. Perhaps the writers were only a mirror for society. Or are they wearing rose tinted glasses?
Either way it is troubling.
This is one instant I can think of right now but there are many others I have come across over the years.
Do we really need to know grammar to understand language? What if we can have billions and billions of words of data to work with and put it through a computer?
Well, that is pretty much what corpus linguistics is.
Here is a nice article about how Google Translate works. It may not be full proof but it is better than anything else we have. A human being will have heard an uncountable number of words in his or her lifetime and we use that input to understand what others are trying to say. So why not a computer with lots of etext in it?
That is I guess the attraction I have to corpus linguistics.
Most of us use word processing software like Microsoft Word, Apple Pages or OpenOffice Writer to create doucments these days. Although we see the words on the page we seldom realise how much more information is included to make the words look like they do: the type of font; size; decorations; etc. This is what I call meta-text information or meta-data.
Often when you copy and paste from one program to another it copies all of the information including meta-data. There are ways to get rid of this, but the simplest is to paste it into something which refuses to accept meta-data like Notepad (Windows) or TextEdit (Mac) and then cut and paste again into the desired program or if you are a corpus linguist just save it as is to use as a plain-text file.
Note: I have heard of problems with MacEdit not saving it correctly for concordancer use. I cannot verify this but I know it works well in Windows witht he method described here and on the linked page.