I know it's been a while, but I had to attend a wedding over the weekend, and it's a little hard to make blog posts and film videos on interesting facts about the English language when you have a dozen women running around putting favors together and your son is not happy about the outfit he has to wear as ringbearer! I'm sure you can understand.
I contacted Mark Davies a couple days ago to ask if I could make a tutorial video on how to use the Corpus of Contemporary American English, and he gave me the go ahead (I was actually pretty geeked and somewhat starstruck when I got a reply--my wife had to pretend to be excited for me).
I just love this corpus so much... it's easy to use, it's fun, and it's so satisfying to my undying craving for information about English usage. I just want to give back to Dr. Davies in some way for developing such an awesome tool.
For me, the best thing about using a corpus is that it answers questions you can't find in style guides or dictionaries, which are usually behind the times anyway. It really burns my biscuits when I hear people say, "oh, such-and-such is a word now since it's in the dictionary." No, it was a word long before the Almighty Dictionary decreed it!
Also, corpora produce a sort of check and balance on the English teacher who likes to pontificate to students that "we don't say that in English." Sure, you don't say it, but what about the other thousands of instances of people saying it? (as an aside, I found in the COCA that like it or not, the word research is becoming countable).
Here is the video:
Speaking of time, if you have some, could you write a comment about something interesting you've discovered by using a corpus?
Have a good one, and good luck out there!