Using the Find Collocates Tool in TAPoR

This week, TAPoR has been working a lot better for nearly everyone. After playing around with this tool for a while, we were able to learn the strengths and weaknesses of TAPoR. Deciding that my favorite tool was the collocates tool, I decided to play around this with it, and to see if I could master it. With the taporware find collocates tool, you can look up a word that you might believe is significant, and see what words are used with that word most often. Fortunately, this tool was one that actually worked, and the results that it came up with were actually quite helpful. After playing around with this tool, tossing in random words to see different results that I would get, I decided to try to look for something a little more specific. While talking about Act three Scene four of Hamlet, my group and I discussed how there were many references to different senses, and uses of the words eyes and ears. So, branching out on this development, I used other tools first, like the word cloud and the list word tools, to decide which word would be best to look at. The word “sense” was used 7 times in this scene, compared to the word eyes that was used almost as often with six mentions. Deciding that these two words were very important, I looked up both words using the find collocates tool. To use the find collocates, the only thing you really have to do is type in the word you want to study, and pray that it works. These pictures show where you input the information, and the results I got from using the word “sense“, and then using the word “eyes“. As you can see, the word that has been used with the word “sense” the most often is the word “sure”, and the word “feeling” is the most common word connected to “eyes“. This information is a helpful start point, but unfortunately, it doesn’t help you to find meaning behind the words used together. The find collocates tool also, unfortunately, does not show us where these words are used within the act. To find them, we either have to guess the exact context, or find the use of these to words together some other way. Another thing that I wish this tool did, was tell me how many times the word “sense” and the word “eyes” were used. Although I know how many times in the scene it was mentioned from other tools, it would be nice to have that specific information included in the tool. Despite these few flaws, I do really enjoy using this tool. It is simplistic enough that a technologically incompetent person like me, can figure it out, considering all you really have to do is enter a word and press the submit button. However, as simplistic as it is to use, I also found it very helpful while trying to find themes within this act. Its definitely one of my favourite tools.

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