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Concordance

A concordance is an alphabetical list of the principal words used in a book or body of work, with their immediate contexts. Because of the time and difficulty and expense involved in creating a concordance in the pre-computer era, only works of special importance, such as the Bible or the works of Shakespeare, had concordances prepared for them.

Even with the use of computers, producing a concordance (whether on paper or in a computer) may require much manual work, because they often include additional material, including commentary on, or definitions of, the indexed words, and topical cross-indexing that is not yet possible with computer-generated and computerized concordances.

However, when the text of a work is on a computer, a search function can carry out the basic task of a concordance, and is in some respects even more versatile than one on paper.

see: key word in context



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