Starts with an excerpt from Michael Rundell and Penny Stock, The Corpus revolution (ET30, 1992). An update on the rise and rise of electronic language corpora and their impact on dictionaries. How dramatically the world has changed since Penny Stock and I wrote about the ‘Corpus Revolution’ in 1992.
At the time, it was not hard to predict that computer processing power and storage capacity would carry on doubling each year. It was already clear, too, that the arrival of the corpus would revolutionize the work of dictionary-makers – hence the title of our articles. These changes were well under way in 1992 and, sixteen years on, their effects are still being felt. In the process, dictionaries have got dramatically better – if by ‘better’ we mean that the description of language they provide corresponds more closely to the way people actually use words when they communicate with one another.