Avoid mixed metaphors (e.g., a theory representing one bunch of a growing body of evidence) and words with surplus or unintended meaning (e.g., cop for police officer), which may distract if not actually mislead the reader.
Linguistic devices that attract attention to words, sounds, or other embellishments instead of to ideas are inappropriate in scientific writing.
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A decade ago, most corpus research focussed on the lexico-grammatical patterning of text and how certain items tend to co-occur in naturally occurring language. However, recent advances in corpus linguistics have adopted a far more textlinguistic approach to corpus analysis. This article reviews corpus-based studies which draw on theoretical insights from systemics, genre and discourse analysis for exploration of small-scale specialised corpora of academic writing. However, such advances do not seem to have been taken up so widely in more applied corpus studies which exploit corpora for pedagogical purposes, as they still tend to focus on the collocational aspect of the text. Moreover, in those studies which do draw on various textlinguistic approaches for the interpretation and analysis of results, the implications for pedagogy are not developed in any great detail with the consequence that the findings have had little influence on ESP syllabus and materials design. If corpus linguistics is to develop further its “applied” aspect and potential for exploitation, specialised corpora need to be exploited at a more textlinguistic level than at present to mirror the advances in more theoretical corpus research.
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