17.575 KWIC

From: Humanist Discussion Group (by way of Willard McCarty willard.mccarty@kcl.ac.uk)
Date: Wed Jan 28 2004 - 03:37:43 EST


<x-flowed>
               Humanist Discussion Group, Vol. 17, No. 575.
       Centre for Computing in the Humanities, King's College London
                   www.kcl.ac.uk/humanities/cch/humanist/
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                     Submit to: humanist@princeton.edu

   [1] From: Maurizio Lana <m.lana@lett.unipmn.it> (26)
         Subject: Re: 17.568 KWIC

   [2] From: Norman Hinton <hinton@springnet1.com> (6)
         Subject: Re: 17.568 the KWIC and the sheep

   [3] From: Patrick Durusau <Patrick.Durusau@sbl-site.org> (41)
         Subject: Using Concordances

--[1]------------------------------------------------------------------
         Date: Wed, 28 Jan 2004 08:15:50 +0000
         From: Maurizio Lana <m.lana@lett.unipmn.it>
         Subject: Re: 17.568 KWIC

At 09.43 27/01/2004, Jim Marchand wrote:
>I was so pleased to see the name of one of my heroes, Joe Raben.
>He once said, BTW, in speaking of concordances: "The very
>technology that has made possible more and better concordances will
>very soon be responsible for their death." "The Death of the
>Handmade Concordance," Scholarly Publishing 1 (1969), p. 69. Too
>bad this prediction hasn't yet come true (I am at this moment
>reviewing a recently-published KWIC concordance).[...]

i think that a (kwic) concordance is really useful in order to deeply study
a given text or corpus, only if it is a computer concordance (say: digital
text + concordancing software). This way one can test one after another
many ideas and hypotheses about the text, and also discover something not
apparent when reading sequentially (for those of you who understand my
argument, a simple KWIC concordance for "turchini" in the "Avventure di
Pinocchio" shows not only the well known "Fata dai capelli turchini", but
also a quite unknown "Bambina dai capelli turchini". The Bambina reveals to
be the Fata; and the "bambina" is called by pinocchio "sorellina", while
the "Fata" il called "mamma".
so with a concordance we quickly discover that Pinocchio has an imaginary
family where his sorellina is also his mother...
and here the field opens to further studies...
maurizio

Maurizio Lana - ricercatore
Dipartimento di Studi Umanistici - UniversitÓ del Piemonte Orientale a Vercelli
via Manzoni 8, I-13100 Vercelli
+39 347 7370925

--[2]------------------------------------------------------------------
         Date: Wed, 28 Jan 2004 08:20:34 +0000
         From: Norman Hinton <hinton@springnet1.com>
         Subject: Re: 17.568 the KWIC and the sheep

Jim --

First, I agree completely about Joe Raben and I was equally happy to see
his name.

I don't like KWIC, but I use a Chaucer concordance about once a month, and
it was very helpful in getting together a paper I read at the medieval
Institute last year.

--[3]------------------------------------------------------------------
         Date: Wed, 28 Jan 2004 08:21:03 +0000
         From: Patrick Durusau <Patrick.Durusau@sbl-site.org>
         Subject: Using Concordances

Willard,

Jim Marchand writes:

>I was so pleased to see the name of one of my heroes, Joe Raben.
>He once said, BTW, in speaking of concordances: "The very
>technology that has made possible more and better concordances will
>very soon be responsible for their death." "The Death of the
>Handmade Concordance," Scholarly Publishing 1 (1969), p. 69. Too
>bad this prediction hasn't yet come true (I am at this moment
>reviewing a recently-published KWIC concordance). I have yet to
>meet anyone who uses a KWIC concordance, though I can see making
>one (they are quick and easy) while working on a text.
>Concordances themselves are hard enough to use, even if done by
>Cruden or Lane Cooper, but a KWIC concordance ... I wonder how many
>people out there even use concordances of any type, e. g. the
>Shakespeare Concordance. I just conducted a scientific survey by
>asking all those I encountered in our Foreign Language Building,
>and found that none of them did, and that 10 out of the 12 I met
>did not know exactly what one was (all of professorial rank).

Interesting survey, albeit somewhat informal. ;-)

While not use of a "published" concordance, I find it helpful to create
KWIC concordances of drafts of technology standards. The use of terms and
concepts are supposed to be consistent. Using a KWIC concordance helps me
avoid correcting (unintentional/unaware correcting) usage to what I "know"
to be the proper usage, despite the actual language of the text.

It may also be that the presentation provided by a KWIC concordance forces
me as a reader to attend more closely to the text and to not complete
thoughts and sentences with my own expectations, based on prior drafts or
general thinking in a particular area. After enough drafts, at least I tend
to skim through the familiar looking for something new. With a KWIC
concordance there is a greater chance I will closely compare the old and
the new, and perhaps learn something about both.

Hope everyone is having a great day!

Patrick

--
Patrick Durusau
Director of Research and Development
Society of Biblical Literature
Patrick.Durusau@sbl-site.org
Chair, V1 - Text Processing: Office and Publishing Systems Interface
Co-Editor, ISO 13250, Topic Maps -- Reference Model

Topic Maps: Human, not artificial, intelligence at work! </x-flowed>



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