Is there a name for this sort of construction in English? It's an extremely difficult thing to Google.

Specifically, I would like to be able to draw a distinction between "Big Data" as used in the sentence

"Preventing leaks of personal information has become a top priority for Big Data."

(where it means something along the lines of "the most prominent businesses which primarily deal with the acquisition, storage, and usage of data as a commodity, analogous to "Big Oil" for the biggest companies in the oil industry)

...and "Big Data" in the sentence

"Software used for Big Data analysis typically uses a map-reduce pipeline."

The latter is an industry-specific term, which typically conjures images of Hadoop distributed file systems and clusters of commodity hardware. "Big Data" in this sense specifically refers to the volume and variety of the information itself, and not the companies which handle it.

I have no idea how to even tag this question, so any help is appreciated.

  • afaik, Google is not semantic search -- for it (Big)(Data Company)=(Big Data)(Company). – Kris Jun 29 '18 at 12:20
  • Never; there is no more a name for your construction than there is for "Big Business" or would be for “Big politics.” Please notice also that while “Leaks are top priority for Big Data" and "Software for Big Data analysis" are very different, that matters only inasmuch as “Big Data” could mean either “people or organisations dealing with large amounts of data” or “Enough data to matter”. This sounds like confusing “record” as noun and verb, or “wound” as adjective, noun and verb but still, there ain’t no such critter. – Robbie Goodwin Jul 14 '18 at 22:44

Probably taxonomy defines the construction you are referring to:

Big, as used in the example above, is defined as:

outstanding for a specified quality:

  • a big liar; a big success.

Big Oil is a name used to describe the world's six or seven largest publicly traded oil and gas companies, also known as supermajors. (Wikipedia)

| improve this answer | |
  • Really, user110518? Don't you think 'taxonomy' is the study of names, which is different from the specific name of any construction, “Big X” or whatever? – Robbie Goodwin Jul 14 '18 at 22:29

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