MCD entries are structured according to grammatical relationships, of which the slogan is part. Therefore, if the keyword is a name (N), typical relationships are v-N (verbs that have the noun as an object) and adj-N (adjectives that often change the name). As you can see, the columns of Word skits correspond to these relationships: the first column (v-N) lists the most common verbal collocifications of printing (words like giving, doing, creating and transmitting) while the third column lists adjectives. Note that some of these collocaters already have a tick next to them: this is because the entry into MED lists them in its “colocation field”. These “comings-together-of-words” cover the entire field of phrasing, and Palmer, a pioneer in the field of English teaching, was one of the first, phraseology as the key to fluid recognition. In Japan, in the 1920s and 1930s, Palmer was particularly interested in co-location, and his second interim report on English roommates (1933) was extremely influential. The central importance of co-location became even more evident when the arrival of a large linguistic corporation showed the extent to which writers and speakers are dependent on “prefabricated languages”. As John Sinclair, the father of the corpus language explains: PHRASES CONTRAT RUPTURE He sued the company for breach of contract. | terms of the agreement The terms of the agreement do not allow for such exports.
In the late 1990s (the first edition of MED was compiled), Macmillan lexicographers were the first users of a new software tool that analyzed corpus data to create Word sketches. A sketch word is a one-sided summary of the co-location behavior of a word, and it was the program we used to make the 500 or so “colocation boxes” in MED. Ten years later, the software has become more powerful, and the corpus we use is 10 times larger. So it was an improved and adapted version of the Word Sketch software, which was our main resource for identifying colocations for MCD. Click here for a Word sketch for a print. A lot of co-location information is available in the dictionaries of good learners such as the Macmillan English Dictionary (MED). Many relevant data are also available on websites. For example, on the wordfrequency.info website, you can download lists of “200-300 first collokes for each of the 20,000 most common words.” And the Just the Word site provides about two pages for word printing. In any case, it is the co-location that tells the listener or reader what the patient means. As linguist J.R.
Firth put it, “you really know a word from the company that runs them.” A good understanding of co-location contributes to our understanding of what words really mean. Each of these meanings is expressed by different collocations, as these examples of our corpus show: refers to two or more entities that accept something, put it in writing and sign it. In this case, it would be an executed contract. If you ask, “Has the contract been signed?”, then ask yourself if the above things have been done. Writers such as Jennifer Jenkins, who advocate the idea of English as Lingua Franca (ELF), often suggest that more “idiomatic” aspects of English – such as slang, cultural allusions, phrasing or fixed phrases – are not useful, unnecessary and should be avoided in an ELF context.