To thin a query is to reduce the number of hits so that the data is more manageable. Whether
you should use all the hits or not will depend on your research question, but if you work on high-frequency words, the
BNCWeb could be very, very slow in indexing the file or calculating collocational stats.
Here is how to thin the hits:
- After you get concordance lines, choose "Thin" from the window right next to the [Go!] button and
- On the BNC Thinning Options page, choose one of the options from "first n hits", "random",
or "1 per text".
- Then type in the number you want to reduce the hits to, and press [Thin Solution Set].
- The concordance lines will reappear, thinned according to the method you just specified.
For practice, try thinning the lines of "lovely" from the exercise on page one down to 1000 with the random selection method.