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Only 50% of what we say is spontaneous

Only 50% of what we say is spontaneous

Why do word pairs like “devious plan” or “voracious appetite” sound right together? Read on to find out how many words have already found their soulmates. Word pairs – or collocations – are combinations of words that are statistically likely to appear together in text and in spoken language. For example, ‘appetite’ is a collocate for ‘voracious’, and ‘plan’ is a collocate for ‘devious’, but the concept also applies to phrases, such as ‘bride and groom’ or ‘fish and chips’. Collocations are such an ingrained concept, that certain phrases sound odd to us when a word isn’t followed by its usual partner, e.g. ‘bride and broom’ or ‘fish and peas’. This is because collocations form part of what is called……

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