After seeing the results of the Zimmerman trial, I was curious about the top ten collocations with the word guilty in the COCA. This is what I found:
The word murder shows up more than any other crime (fraud is the next crime at #26 with 150 occurrences). It's also pretty clear that this word has courtroom connotations, with forms of plead, found, jury, charges, verdict, and proven making it in the top 15. Nevertheless, it still gets used in more common situations like feeling guilty. The first example is Governor Chris Christie being asked in an interview if he feels guilty for being so overweight. It's interesting that a word can be used to describe something so serious as well as something so innocuous.
Hi! I'm Bill.
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