Search Information


There are two ways to search this site: the Multi-Site Search and the Multi-Site Index. Use either, or both, according to your personal preference.

Pages searched

Both methods search the same pages:

  1. All publicly-accessible pages at this site.
  2. Selected pages at these AUE-related sites:
    • John Lawler's English Grammar FAQ, based on questions and answers in alt.usage.english
    • Bob Cunningham's AUE statistics
  3. The index pages (only) of these other word-usage sites: For example, if you'd like to know why important people are sometimes called "bigwigs", search on the word "bigwig". There isn't anything on that subject at this site (except this paragraph, of course), but you'll get links to most of the other sites listed above. Click on a link to go directly to the "bigwig" information on the site concerned, by-passing that site's index.

In some long pages with several sections, each section of the page is indexed separately. So you might see several "hits" for a single word, each leading to the same page, but to different sections within that page.

Search methods

The search methods are compared in the table below.

Multi-Site Search
Multi-Site Index
General feel
  • Has the feel of a traditional web search engine such as Alta Vista or Google, where you type in one or more words.
  • Has the feel of a traditional book index, where you look up words in an alphabetical index. But many more words are indexed than is usual for a book.
Multi-word searches
  • Searches for one word, or several words.
  • Lists single words only, but you can see other similar words adjacent in the index.
Minimum word length for inclusion in the index
  • Three letters
  • Three letters
Stop words (words not included in the index)
  • None
  • None
  • The server supplies a page containing links only to pages containing the words you've specified.
  • The server supplies the whole index page even though only some links are relevant.
Presentation of each result
  1. The site identifier (see below) and page title.
  2. The first 25 words of the page.
  3. The URL.
  1. The site identifier (see below) and page title.

    (That's all!)

Site identifiers

In the results pages, page titles are preceded by a short site code in italics. The site codes are:

AUE:   This site,

Lawrence Paros and Dave Middleton's A Word With You


Paul Brians' Common Errors in English


Bob Cunningham's AUE statistics


Garbl's Editorial Style Manual


John Lawler's English Grammar FAQ


Jack Lynch's Guide to Grammar and Style


Evan Morris's Word Detective


Michael Quinion's World Wide Words

Random House;  

Random House Mavens' Word of the Day


Dave Wilton's Etymology Page


The Yaelf site