University of Virginia Library

The Third Program

The next step one should take is to run the material — now from a computer tape since the material must be on a tape to generate the frequency-list — through the machine to generate the preliminary concordance. This program should give an output of a complete alphabetized list of words in the work with only the line numbers in which the words appear. It may be possible to get a line concordance at this stage (for shorter texts — say under 5,000 lines of verse), but that is not needed. It is from such a list that the concordancer works to separate further homographs which he no doubt will find during the proofreading, to help him refer to the text to verify peculiar spellings, to help in the gathering of variant spellings which will eventually be listed under a single headword, and so on. I found several errors which slipped by me in the other proofreading phases of the project when I had this preliminary concordance.[9]