Leoxicon is about to clock up ten thousand visitors and I thought I should do something to celebrate this achievement. At first I thought I'd revamp the look of my blog but you need time for that and there is not much you can do on Blogger until they improve their Dynamic Views templates. Then I thought since this blog is all about collocations and lexical chunks I should add a nice little widget somewhere on the right displaying a new chunk every day. But my internet search for "a phrase of the day" or "an expression of the day" widget drew a blank. It's funny that despite all the evidence and research, whether cognitive or psycholinguistic, pointing to the phrasal nature of the lexicon, i.e. words are remembered, stored and retrieved in chunks, all the EFL teaching materials are still preoccupied with words, words, single words. The integration of web technologies doesn't seem to have helped either. Having said that, I've stumbled upon two interesting websites:
Phrase Mix posts a new colloquial phrase every day and Tweet Speak English - every week or so. Both come with audio and accompanying activities but unfortunately not all the content is available for non-members.
Since my search for a lexical gadget has proved futile, I decided to open it up to you, my readers, and ask you to post your favourite chunks. But first of all, what's the difference between a collocation and a chunk?
Adj+Noun: reckless driving
Noun+Noun: a chance encounter
Verb+Adv: talk freely
Adv+Adj: ridiculously expensive
Noun+Verb: the bomb went off
Even though they statistically occur together very often, most methodologists agree that the following combinations are not considered collocations:
Adj+dependent preposition: afraid of
Incomplete fixed phrase: sort of
All other multi-word phrases, which are not readily identifiable as collocations, can be considered chunks: See you later (formulaic expression), Come to think of it...(discourse marker), a few years ago (prepositional phrase), If I were you... (sentence head), The more... the better (sentence frame) and many others.