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News, How-tos, and assorted Views on Accordance Bible Software.

Tuesday, April 18, 2006  

A New Command I Give: Go Away!

Yesterday's post got me into a bit of trouble. Some of our users felt it was "cruel" of me to provoke their curiosity about version 7 without giving them any real information. Then one of my coworkers half-jokingly warned me that if I talk too much about version 7, I might initiate the Osborne effect. On top of all that, I learned that my screenshot of the Details window from the version 7 alpha is already out of date. Since I was given that alpha, the interface has changed slightly; thus underscoring why we wait until just before release to talk up the features and interface of a new version—too much can change during the development process.

Oh well, at least my wife liked the bit about the "pretty girl at the office"! ;-)

All this makes it clear to me that the only safe things in life are telling your wife she's pretty and talking about features your software already has. So without further ado, let's get back to discussing the many uses of the existing Details window!

In Friday's post, we searched the tagged Greek New Testament (GNT-T) for all imperative verbs, then looked at the Graph and Analysis of the results. By going to "Set Analysis Display..." (command-T) and changing the Sort to "Count down," we saw that the most used imperatives in the Greek New Testament are ginomai "be," poieo "do," and lego "say," followed closely by hupago "go away." Since the command to "go away" seems a bit antisocial, it's curious that hupago appears so frequently in the imperative mood.

To explore this further, I can go back to my Search window and do a search for hupago, but I'm exceptionally lazy, and I never learned to type properly, so I'm going to take a shortcut. First, I'm going to double-click the Greek word hupago right in the Analysis window. This simply selects the word, according to standard Mac interface conventions.

(Note: This is why we require you to triple-click a word to automatically look it up in a lexicon or dictionary. If double-clicking did that, then you would always have to drag your mouse to make a selection—and who has time for that?)

Now that the word I want to focus on is selected, I can go to my Resource Palette and search for it in any text, tool, parallel, or other resource I happen to have installed. In this case, I want to find every occurrence of this Greek word in the Greek New Testament, so I'll select GNT-T from the Greek texts button of the Resource palette.

Voila! Before I can blink, a Search window has been opened (or recycled) displaying every occurrence of hupago. Now, at this point, Accordance has given me every occurrence of hupago, regardless of inflected form. Eventually, I'll want to constrain this search so that it just finds the imperative forms of hupago. But while we're here, let's see what other forms of hupago were found. Perhaps that will give us some insight into how this word is used.

To do this, I'll click the Details button and look at the Analysis tab.

By default, the Analysis lists all the lexical forms that were found and the number of times each one appears. Since I only searched for one lexical form, the Analysis window doesn't tell me much about this particular search. But I can change that by selecting "Set Analysis Display. . ." from the Display menu, or by using the one keyboard shortcut you absolutely must learn. That's right, command-T.

If you look again at the Set Analysis Display dialog box, you'll see a series of columns. Each of these columns represents a different word or element of your search, allowing you to set the information which is displayed for each individual word. Since we only did a search for a single word (hupago), we're only concerned with the first column right now.

Note how, by default, all the columns contain the LEX item. This is why the Analysis window defaults to listing every lexical form. We can get more information about our search by dragging additional items into the leftmost column. I'm going to drag the Mood item into the first column (beneath the LEX item) and click OK.

(Note: Because I'm displaying multiple criteria—that is, both the lexical form and the mood—I must make sure "Alphabetical" is selected in the Sort pop-up menu. Accordance doesn't allow "Count up" or "Count down" sorts when displaying more than one criteria.)

Now my analysis window tells me that hupago appears in the imperative mood 38 times, more than any other mood. Thus, "Go away" is used as a command more often than it is used in any other way.

Now, is it most often used as a direct command ("Go!") or an indirect command ("Let him go")? To find this out, I can go back to the Set Analysis Display dialog (by using command-T), and add another criteria to the sort order, such as Person.

When I click OK, each Mood of hupago is further broken down according to Person, enabling me to see that every time hupago appears as an imperative in the GNT, it is in the second person, indicating a direct command.

By changing the display of the Analysis window, I've learned that hupago is typically used as a command in the GNT, and that it is always used as a direct command rather than an indirect one. If I wanted to carry this line of study further, I could drag a Number element into the column of the Set Analysis Display to see whether the command to "Go!" is most often directed at individuals or groups. Or I could add Tense to compare whether these are aorist imperatives or present imperatives. As you can see, modifying the display of the Analysis window can open up a new world of information about your search; and it's all just a command-T away.

Thanks David. I've always wondered what those LEX columns were used for. Probably a stupid question, but why are there 6 columns labeled LEX?

What do you use the other columns for? thx!!

There are actually twenty columns (if you scroll all the way to the right). Each column represents an individual word in a multi-word phrase, or each item in a multi-word construct. If you search for a three-word phrase, you could set the characteristics of each word using the first three columns. A twenty-word phrase would require all twenty columns.

Thanks David. Very helpful!
The GNT-T text lists 1636 hits in 1212 verses and the 'old' GNT text only 1634 in 1207 verses.
The question is: what is the best and fast way to compare the two texts and find the elements tagged in a different way? Thanks in advance!!

I think you need to coin a new acronym to save yourself typing time: TOKSYAML. :)

David: In fact the number of words in a phrase is limited to 15, so the additional columns are superfluous, not that I have ever seen anyone use more than 2!

Anonymous: To compare two search results use the CONTENTS command in a third window. In this example you could search for [CONTENTS GNT-T] NOT [CONTENTS GNT] to find the verses in the GNT-T that were not found in the GNT. Then you can compare the tagging yourself. (I had to omit the angle brackets around the NOT as the Blogger treated them like HTML tags.)

Hey David,

One your "List of things to Blog," how about adding [CONTENTS] for those of use who are a little slow on this stuff. Thanks!!

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