Dear Nubian Goddess, why is that song stuck in my head? If you don't recognize that, don't ask. And be thankful.
Last linguist-related geekout of the day. Promise.
The British National Corpus (BNC) is a carefully-selected collection of 4124 contemporary written and spoken English texts, primarily from the United Kingdom. The corpus totals over 100 million words and covers a representative range of domains, genres and registers. The entire corpus has been analyzed and marked up with part of speech (POS) tags. Provenance and other attributes are carefully documented for each text. "What is the BNC?" provides a succinct overview of the corpus; for an exhaustive description, consult the British National Corpus Users Reference Guide. Chapter 1 of Guy Aston and Lou Burnard's BNC Handbook includes an informative survey of possible uses of corpora in general and of the BNC in particular. Additional useful information and resources (including various frequency lists with more refined POS tagging) are found on the companion website for Word Frequencies in Written and Spoken English based on the British National Corpus by Geoffrey Leech, Paul Rayson and Andrew Wilson. The introduction includes a very readable discussion of how the corpus was tokenized and tagged.
This site incorporates a database (referred to here as the w&p-db) derived from the second or World Edition of the BNC (2000); it is not affiliated with the BNC Consortium. It aims to provide a simple yet powerful interface for studying words and phrases up to six words long appropriate for both experienced researchers and novice users. For investigating words in longer contexts, the full BNC corpus and Sara search and analysis software is available on CD-ROM from the BNC Consortium (a single user license costs only £ 50). Alternatively, one can look up individual words and phrases online.
From the description of the Home Page of "Exploring Words and Phrases from the British National Corpus". If you don't understand why this is incredibly cool. . . catch me at my office hours.
Update: Oh, right, was someplace with a radio playing, and the DJ asked a trivia question, "What was the first video played on MTV?"
I heard you on the wireless back in Fifty Two
Lying awake intent at tuning in on you.
If I was young it didn't stop you coming through.
They took the credit for your second symphony.
Rewritten by machine and new technology,
and now I understand the problems you can see.
I met your children
What did you tell them?
Video killed the radio star
I warned you. . .