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Secret Ballet: Note

Version: June 03, 2004

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All sentences that make up Secret Ballet have been taken from the set of over 90,000 example sentences and sentence fragments reproduced in the Collins COBUILD English Language Dictionary, ©William Collins Sons & Co Ltd 1987. This dictionary was compiled, for the first time, from a large corpus of ‘English texts, spoken and written, running to many millions of words [...] the words came from books, magazines, newspapers, pamphlets, leaflets, conversations, radio and television broadcasts. The aim was to provide a fair representation of contemporary English’ (quote from the introduction).

In compiling Secret Ballet, the intention was to include every example sentence in the dictionary. Those sentences that did not fit anywhere at the time were thought of as candidates for inclusion at a later stage of compilation.

Every element (example sentence or fragment) has been used just once. No element has been truncated or changed regarding tense, spelling or punctuation. At times, complete elements have been joined by comma, semicolon, colon, apostrophe, dash or space.

Most elements have been used exactly as found. Nothing has been invented or added. Changes of elements have been strictly limited to the application of three simple rules:

  1. First names may be replaced with other first names of the same sex.
  2. Surnames may be replaced with other surnames.
  3. The sex of personal pronouns may be changed as long as this makes sense (‘he drove fast’ may be changed to ‘she drove fast’, but ‘she became pregnant’ must not be changed to ‘he became pregnant’).

Corpus acknowledgements are given on page xxii to xxiv of the dictionary. These acknowledgements are not reproduced here, since they cannot be associated to actual sentences and are thus meaningless. Every effort has been made to trace the copyright holders. The publisher will be pleased to make any necessary acknowledgements at the first opportunity.


Hamburg, 26 May 2004

Go to Part 1 of Secret Ballet

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