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Collins ELT

Grammar or vocabulary? A blurry line

Grammar or vocabulary? A blurry line

This article has been written by Julie Moore, who is an ELT materials developer and lexicographer. Most language learning coursebooks include gramm...

COBUILD: The Evolving Corpus – How corpus use has changed over the years

COBUILD: The Evolving Corpus – How corpus use has changed over the years

Size matters when it comes to corpora. At 220 million words of text, the corpus used to create the second edition of the COBUILD dictionary in 1995 was over ten times the size of the one used for the first edition, and 220 times bigger than the first electronic corpora developed in the 1960s and early 1970s. Yet it was tiny compared to those we use today, some of which amount to billions, not millions of words.

COBUILD: Shifting senses – How the meanings of words change

COBUILD: Shifting senses – How the meanings of words change

In the 30 years since the publication of the first COBUILD dictionary, a whole flurry of new words has come into the language and as they’ve caught on and become part of everyday usage, they’ve been added to the dictionary.

COBUILD Part 2: The Early Years – A dictionary from a corpus

COBUILD Part 2: The Early Years – A dictionary from a corpus

By the time I arrived at COBUILD as part of the 1993 intake recruited to work on the second edition of the dictionary, the whole project had been fully computerised for several years. This meant working on screen at terminals linked to mainframe computers that hummed away in a separate room, still with the green text on a black background, as described by Andrew Delahunty in Part 1

COBUILD: Design and Layout – Changes over the last 30 years

COBUILD: Design and Layout – Changes over the last 30 years

Where were you 30 years ago? I was in the middle of my university studies, still to embark on my ELT career, and as such, a smidgin too late to be part of the intrepid and free-spirited COBUILD dictionary team. Led by the late John Sinclair, this large young team was involved in bringing to life his vision: to create a dictionary for learners that was based on a large digital language database – or a corpus. 

Nonstandard usage or error: where should we draw the line?

Nonstandard usage or error: where should we draw the line?

This article has been written by Penny Hands, who is one of the contributors to the Collins COBUILD English Grammar. If we’re going to talk about nonstandard English, it’s a good idea to start by asking what Standard English (SE) is.

Grammar and register

Grammar and register

This article has been written by Julie Moore, who is an ELT materials developer and lexicographer. Our last post focused on the difference between ...

Collins COBUILD English Grammar: a functional grammar

Collins COBUILD English Grammar: a functional grammar

This article has been written by Penny Hands, who is one of the contributors to the Collins COBUILD English Grammar.   Most people who study and us...