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Example word – credibility

Now let us look at a final example word, "credibility". Here are the simplified concordance lines again for the word.

line 1: ... those particular models of socialism have lost credibility, a debate has opened on the possibility
line 2: ... 1, 66pc of all votoeers believed Mr Major has lost credibility as part leader, with only 29pc saying
line 3: ... tional and inconsistent, if not crazy. They lose credibility quickly with an adverse political impact
line 4: ... lth services, which is why the Labour party lost all credibility with the health professional. Mrs Heal
line 5: ... ganda had by this time in any case lost practically all credibility with the public to her own appearance on
line 6: ... something was. Many date Mrs Thatcher's real loss of credibility with the public to her own appearance on
line 7: ... lities badly needed by a party that has lost almost all credibility. Dr. Gvsi and his attempt at power before
line 8: ... politicians it proves enormously costly in terms of lost credibility and lost confidence in another set of

Example concordance lines for "credibility"

Core word(s) Lose/lost + credibility
Collocate(s) Within N±5 range: the, has/have/had, party, with, in, of, all
Others (including words found out of the N±5 range): political/politicians
Colligate(s) 1. quantifiers (e.g. some, almost, all, any)
2. abstract nouns (e.g. debate, case, political impact, functionaries, attempt, confidence, models)
3. proper nouns (e.g. Major, Labor, Thatcher, Nazi, Gysi)
4. pronouns / possessive pronouns (e.g. his, her, they)
5. salutations (e.g. Mr., Mrs., Dr.)
6. determiners, articles (e.g. a, an, the, another)
7. Adverbs (e.g. practically, quickly)
8. prepositional phrases (e.g. of socialism, with an adverse political impact, with the health professionals, with the public)

Table 3: Lexical item "credibility"

From the given concordance lines, the only alternative core word found in addition to "credibility" is "lose/lost/loss" which is obviously a negative word despite its changing forms. The interesting point for the word "credibility" is its collocation and colligation. While the word "credibility" has collocates like "the", "has/have/had", "with", "in", "of", "all" and "party", all of them (except for "party") seems to be function or grammatical words and carries little, if any at all, lexical meaning. It is also interesting to note that upward collocation (Sinclair, 1991, pp. 115-116) seems to be dominant for "credibility" as well, which is rather different from our previous two other words, "cause" and "reduce". And, even when "credibility" has quite a number of colligates like the nouns, proper nouns and pronouns, almost none of them comes at either the N±1 or N±2 positions. They all seem to appear somewhere at N±3 or N±4 with at least two intervening words which reminds us of Hoey's (1997) concept on colligation in terms of textual position. Those that occupy the N±1 positions are mostly the quantifiers.

In terms of semantic preference, the word "credibility" seems to be closely related to politics and public administration and not finance, surprisingly. The semantic set that goes with "credibility" is rather special too. While there are negative words like "lost confidence", "crazy", "adverse" and "costly", there are big names of politicians with proper salutations, names of political parties, and even terms related to political ideas. And, most remarkably, there appears to be a major difference in nature between the names of politicians and the names of political parties co-selecting with the word "credibility". The names of the politicians are either economic liberals who support free trade and markets in general like Major and Thatcher or they can be leftists like Gysi [2], whereas words related to political ideas or political parties all seem to favor a managed or planned economy, for instance, "socialism", the Labors and the Nazi (National Socialists) [3]. The semantic prosody of "credibility", hence, becomes very interesting – it seems to imply expressed concerns (including mental, material or even financial) or when people shows little confidence in politicians (be it left or right) as well as political parties or ideas that supports planned or managed economy.

OK, so much for the theories. Now, let me put these theories into action – check out my other article and see how I have deployed the theories into actual use in When a Linguist stumbled upon a Buttonwood: A Review on an Economist Buttonwood article entitled "The demand for financial assets is not like the demand of iPods"


Raymond Cheng, PhD DPA FRSA, is the founder and chief editor of He is an adjunct professor in international business and in marketing, an independent policy analyst as well as a language and cultural briefing consultant.

Email Raymond at raymond {dot} cheng {at} kellogg {dot} oxon {dot} org

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Note 2: Dr. Gregor Gysi is a key politician affiliated with the German socialist political party, The Left (Die Linke).

Note 3: The term Nazi derives from the first two syllables of Nationalsozialistische Deutsche Arbeiterpartei (National Socialist German Workers' Party, NSDAP).

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COUNT ON THE STATISTICS  100% Towels (c) Daniel Chittka
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This new section contains some interesting statistics in bribe and corruption, please check back for more as we pile up our numbers!

It's statistics time!  Using n-gram: kickback, graft, bribe and corruption - Comparison of their historical occurrences from 1810 to 2009 A.D.

  The word guanxi (collocation) and meanings of bribe: Deeply rooted, disgusting, sad endings

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A critique on "A corpus driven study of the potential for vocabulary learning through watching movies"

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For those you who don't have time to read all our news excerpts about the Asian island disputes (links above), you may find the following video, "The economic impact of a war between Japan and China", very enlightening.

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Free Pussy Riot!

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"This trial is another example of the Kremlin's attempts to discourage and delegitimize dissent. It is likely to backfire." John Dalhuisen, Director of Amnesty International's Europe and Central Asia Programme

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03/08 Protesters detained in Moscow
04/13 PR gets reprimand: parole problematic
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07/26 Parole denied, PR remains defiant

The Knife supporting PR at Pukkelpop

08/17 Against verdict on PR – Day of Solidarity
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GLUCK ON SOCIALISM AND CHINA Asia (c) Robert Churchill
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Professor Sidney Gluck (c) Sandi BachomI am honored to have obtained Professor Sidney Gluck's (right) permission to allow me to repost here some of his work and interview related to China and socialism. Professor Gluck is professor emertius at the New School University in New York. A classical Marxist, Gluck has been studying China for 60 years in history and modern development. He has lectured all over the U.S. and still welcomes engagement at the age of 94 – photo © Sandi Bachom


Usman Khurshid on Mike McCune's HD Monitor with Paths logo with Maartje van Caspel's Public Space
I am proud to announce that the website is now carrying the technology updates from Usman Khurshid's Usman is a network consultant and works in a mixed environment of Windows and Linux platforms. He likes to study about the latest advancements in computer technology and shares his views on his blog.

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Oh, please do not get me wrong. This new section is not about computers, electronics or any engineering stuff, but rather I am currently constructing a new corpus based on Spectrum, the monthly publication from the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers USA, from July 2007 to date. Having been a member for over 20 years since 1992, I am always fascinated by some of the terms scientists use when they talk about or envision their new inventions or methodologies. How many of them eventually come into practice? Could there be some insights we could possibly derive, from the linguistics perspective?


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