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Thursday, 31 January 2013
Home arrow Archived pages arrow How to search OED arrow Note on Willinsky 1994
Author quotations in alphabetical range
Note: this page is now out of date following changes to the OED Online website made in December 2010.

How to search for the number of quotations by an author in an alphabetical range

  1. Use the results from the previous search.
  2. Click on ADVANCED SEARCH to return to the initial search screen. Do not click back in your browser as this will nullify the search you have just done.
  3. Make sure that the QUOTATIONS tab is still selected: it should be red.
  4. Scroll down to the bottom of the page to check that your previous search is listed in the LAST 10 SEARCHES. This will not appear if you clicked back in your browser rather than on the ADVANCED SEARCH or SEARCH tabs.
  5. From the panel on the right-hand side, click the checkbox to RESTRICT SEARCH TO RESULTS OF PREVIOUS SEARCH, making sure that the radio button is selected. Alternatively, you could select the other radio button and enter the relevant number from the list of searches already carried out at the bottom of the page.
  6. Enter the quotation date range for your chosen author into the search box. For Blake this is 1780-1828, as you should have recorded in 7 and 9 in the previous search (Author quotations). For some authors, this will not work because some of the dates will be written as 17.. Usually, these unspecified dates appear at the top of the list when you order them by quotation date. This is the case for John Gay (search for gay in QUOTATION AUTHOR). The solution for this is to search for all the quotations before or after a certain date, depending on where the other authors of the same name appear. In Gay's case, this is after his last quotation, so search for -1800, which finds all quotations before 1800. Similarly, 1700- would find all quotations after 1700 (including the unspecified 17..).
  7. Select QUOTATION DATE from the drop-down menu.
  8. Click START SEARCH.
  9. When the results appear, reorder them alphabetically by clicking the ENTRY NAME tab. It should turn red.
  10. Note the first and last words in your chosen range (including their count number), ensuring that all the quotations in between are by your chosen author. For Gay in OED3 this should be 419 (mackerel, n.1) to 551 (overspread, v.).
  11. The number of quotations in that range is the difference between the count number of the first and last word in the range. The number of quotations by Gay in OED3 in the range m-overzealousness is therefore calculated as follows:
551 – 419 + 1 = 133
Last Updated ( Monday, 17 October 2011 )
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