Adam

Adam died on Saturday 16th May following a diagnosis of advanced cancer in November 2014.  During that time, one of his great pleasures was writing articles for this blog and the range of responses he received.

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Adam Kilgarriff

I'm a scientist who has set up and runs a small company. I'm married (to Gill Lamden) with three children, Boris (22), Maddie (18) and Raffie (9) (as at today, 28 January 2015, in case I forget to update!) We live in Brighton, UK. Last November (2014) I found I had bowel cancer (stage 5; not curable; only 'manageable'). We've been adjusting to that since (and it is what provoked me to start the blog) My scientific area is linguistics, with my specialisms being corpus linguistics, computational linguistics, and lexicography - or, best of all, the intersection of all three. Since 2004, my company, Lexical Computing Ltd., has been providing a web service, the Sketch Engine, to linguists and lexicographers wanting to find out about words, using corpus-driven methods. Customers include Oxford University Press, Cambridge University Press, Collins, Macmillan, Le Robert, Dictionary.com and around a hundred universities worldwide.

103 thoughts on “Adam”

  1. Dear Gill, Boris, Maddie and Raffie,
    This is unbelievably sad news. We are so, so sorry. We feel profoundly grateful to have spent some time with you both recently (albeit too brief) and to have heard Adam’s wonderful, warm voice through these pages.
    He was an amazing, generous-spirited man and we will miss him.
    Sending enormous love to you all and thinking of you.
    Li and Matt xxxx

  2. Stunned and so sad but now I know why I was thinking of him so vividly on Saturday. Such a great loss – my thoughts and prayers are with all he loved and who loved him.

  3. Hi Gill.
    Like many others, I’ve really enjoyed Adam’s blog, and gained a lot from it. His piece on depression was quite remarkable and really touched me – my brother William fell to depression as you know. Thank you for helping him to keep it going.
    Dear Adam – known and loved by many, and still very much alive in our thoughts and hearts.
    Lots of love Gill to you and your household.
    Kate xxx

  4. I don’t know how else to communicate with Adam’s family, so I post a comment here. I sincerely hope it is not out of place…
    The sad news just reached me. We worked together with Adam in European projects, and his contribution on the field of language resources is exceptional. But so was the courage with which he faced his illness; his clarity of mind and his good humour were admirable!
    My heartiest condolences to Adam’s family. My thoughts and prayers are with him and you all.
    Maria

  5. May his soul rest in peace. I wish you get the strength to overcome this hard time. He was a great person… Condolences…

  6. Very sad news. As it happens, I was talking about Adam on Saturday with another former colleague who I bumped into on the seafront. We agreed he had shown an amazing spirit while living with his illness. RIP mate.

  7. My deepest condolences to all Adam’s family and friends. I knew him as a colleague for nearly 30 years and have many wonderful memories both from a professional and social point of view. While I will always remember some of the fun times on work trips and conferences, nevertheless his professional enthusiasm and dedication knew no bounds. But what makes him stand out is surely his courage and determination to continue as best he could until the very end, maintaining an incredible positive outlook despite the ravages of depression that he experienced and about which he wrote so honestly and remarkably. RIP to a wonderful man.

  8. Awful news. We knew it was coming, but it is still hard to take in. There really was no-one else quite like Adam; he will be missed by many, many friends and admirers

  9. Unbelievably sad news, so sorry to hear. Adam showed such great strength and humour through his illness. Thinking of you in this difficult time.

  10. We never met, Gill, but I heard wonderful things about you and your children from Adam, and I know that you are someone very special to have been married to Adam. I am deeply sorry for your loss. I will miss everything about Adam–we worked together and played together, and it was always fun. My condolences to you and your family.

  11. Gill, Boris, Maddie and Raffie,
    I send a big hug to you all. This is a really sad day… It is tough to realise we have lost such an amazing person, but I am so grateful I had the chance to read his words through this blog, all the thoughts and memories he generously decided to share with us, his friends.
    Lots of love to you all,
    Laura

  12. My sincerest condolences to the whole family. Adam was a very kind and generous spirit. One of the best in our field of computational linguistics. He will be missed very much. May he rest in peace and may you have the patience to deal with this enormous loss! Mona Diab

  13. Adam,

    I suspect that no Internet connection is available in the space you are now. But, just for the case, I’d like to refrain: your great contribution to Slovak lexicography is really difficult to express… Thanks!

    R.I.P.,

    Vlado B, 17:55

  14. So sad to hear this – it seems so sudden. My profound condolences to Gill (we never met) and Boris (who I met once in Aberystwyth), Maddie and Raffie. Adam was an exceptional man, as the responses to this blog have shown over the past few months. Our thoughts will be with you.

  15. Gill, Boris, Maddie and Raffie, my deepest sympathy and condolence.
    Gill, we met long time ago, when I was in Brighton. You and Adam kindly invited Gabriela and myself to dinner and we cheerfully sat together with the whole family.
    I met Adam shortly last summer in Bolzano. He looked healthy and he was in good spirits. I cannot believe that he left us so quickly and unexpectedly. The exceptional courage that he showed in his illness will be an unforgettable memory of his life.

  16. Yesterday I had this nagging feeling it was taking far too long for the next post. What a sad day. My deepest sympathy to Gill and children, whom I got to know a little via this blog. Adam will be sorely missed.

  17. I send deepest condolences, thoughts and prayers, to all of Adam’s family even though I have never met any of you and only know about you through Adam’s blog posts. Adam has left a great legacy to all of the linguistics community and whenever I use SkE I will be appreciative of his life and work.

  18. my thoughts, and any love and strength i can transmit, are with you, Gill & family… i first met Adam in the early/mid-90s, i think… and we had a very warm friendship and many interesting intellectual exchanges… many of us will remember different aspects of his personality, and celebrate his life and his many accomplishments, as well as grieving at the early departure of such a wonderful friend… ramesh xxx

  19. Dear Gill, Boris, Maddie and Raffie,
    I was Adam’s student at Lexicom 2011. His personality and the content of his lectures have inspired and sustained me till this day. I hope that this proof of the good that Adam did during his lifetime will sustain you too during these difficult days. Please accept my condolences.
    Most sincerely,
    Geoff Toister

  20. Our condolences to Adam’s family!

    Adam came to visit us in Singapore and the students even got a chance to use Sketch Engine directly from his demonstration. We were heartened by his devotion to corpus linguistics. We’re saddened by the loss of our colleague and friend.

    – Min-Yen Kan
    (on behalf of the WING-NUS staff who fondly remember his visit)

  21. Very sorry to hear this news. I knew Adam many years ago in BNC days, and always enjoyed arguing with him. I learned from him too!

  22. So sad to hear the news.
    All my love to Gill, Boris, Maddie & Raffie for the days ahead.
    David xxxx

  23. On half of the Oriema Family and all the Kenyan Friends I send our deepest condolences, thoughts and prayers to all of Adam’s family-Gill,Maddie,Boris and Rafael.
    I pray and hope that the proof of the good that Adam did during his lifetime will keep you too during these difficult days.Its through the good heart and the kindness of Adam and Gill that so much changed in our lives.
    You will forever be cherished and remembered.
    You will forever.

  24. Deepest condolences, Gill, to you and the whole family. I count myself so lucky to have had the chance of knowing and working with Adam. He’ll be missed very much!

  25. Dear Gill, Boris, Maddie, and Raffie,

    I feel honored to have worked with your husband and father when I first trained as a lexicographer. I always looked forward to seeing him at conferences: his infectious eagerness and his generosity with his skills and knowledge always energized me, rekindling the joy in our craft. I too lost my husband, and my daughter her father, to cancer not so long ago. I hope, in a time that is right for you, that our experience will be yours: that the searing pain of loss which you fear will be this intense forever will not, in fact, sustain its force, and that the memories which you cannot bear to recall, but at the same time fear will fade, will bring more joy than reminder of loss.

    With all my very best wishes,
    Wendi Nichols

  26. On behalf of all my colleagues at the Complutense University, among whom Adam was greatly appreciated, I would like to express our most sincere condolences to his family. We are all truly saddened by this loss. Descanse en paz.

  27. Querido Adam,
    Doy gracias por la suerte que he tenido en haberte conocido. Eres un ejemplo a seguir: un académico único, un caballero y una grandísima persona.
    Estarás siempre en nuestro recuerdo.
    Un abrazo enorme
    Pascual

  28. Dear Gill, Boris, Maddie, Raffie, all our thoughts are with you. Adam is one of the finest men we ever met. He has been extremely supportive to us. One of many such supportive instances is giving me a job to work from Malta, so that Spandana and I can stay closer. He was an excellent guide, friend, boss, and the down to earth person. Thank you very much for allowing us to have a share of his time during our visit to Brighton. We will miss him a lot.

    with love.

  29. Dear Adam’s family,
    He was a generous great man and an assiduous scientist. I never forget my first contact with him. I was only a student when I applied for the Lexicom workshop. I had no Bank card to pay for the workshop or to book a hotel in Barcelona. When I wrote him about my problem, he generously offered his own bank card, while he had not even met me before. I enjoyed his help and advices later several times, when I was working on my dissertation, and even later when I planned to work on a lexicography project.
    I cannot imagine your pain. I hope you find the peace to get you through this time. Please accept my deepest condolence.

    Maryam

    از پای فتادیم چو آمد غم هجران
    در درد بماندیم چو از دست دوا رفت

  30. Adam made a huge contribution to Computational Linguistics: (a href=”https://beta.sketchengine.co.uk/bonito/run.cgi/first?corpname=preloaded%2Faclarc_1&reload=&iquery=kilgarriff&queryselector=iqueryrow&lemma=&lpos=&phrase=Kilgarriff&word=&wpos=&char=&cql=&default_attr=word&fc_lemword_window_type=both&fc_lemword_wsize=5&fc_lemword=&fc_lemword_type=all&fc_pos_window_type=both&fc_pos_wsize=5&fc_pos_type=all&fsca_doc.id=&fsca_doc.title=&fsca_doc.authors=&fsca_doc.wordcount=&fsca_conference.id=&fsca_conference.year=”> SketchEngine Concordance of “Kilgarriff”

  31. Very sorry to hear that. Adam was always very cheerful and friendly, and not afraid to challenge established ideas. He will be missed.

    :(

    Oliver

  32. On behalf of the Sierra Family who has the pleasure to meet you and your family, I would like to express our deepest sympathy to Gill, Boris, Maddie, and Raffie. The Language Engineering Group in Mexico will always appreciate your legacy to the community.

  33. I had the great (and unexpected) pleasure and honour of sharing an apartment with Adam at my first international conference in 1997, through which I got to spend a very pleasurable few days with him, and learn the joys of rambling discussions, impassioned arguments (most of which Adam won, of course), and amiably “hanging” with the great man. I always enjoyed catching up with him, in all sorts of expected and unexpected locations, and catching up on his latest work as well as the latest on the family (who were very obviously never far from his mind). His humour, sharp intellect, warmth, and humanity will be greatly missed.

  34. Our deepest condolence to Adam’s family.
    It is so sad to learn the news. We will never forget his generosity and his warm friendship.

    From friends in Vietlex and HUS

  35. I want to offer my deepest condolences. My wife and I are really saddened at the news. Although I met Adam only on two occassions, his kindness and friendliness are deeply etched in my mind. Here is a (vague) picture taken of him swimming in Bali.

  36. I want to offer my deepest condolences. My wife and I are really saddened at the news. Although I met Adam only on two occassions, his kindness and friendliness are etched in my mind. Here is a (vague) picture taken of him swimming in Bali.

  37. On behalf of John and Margaret Ridler at 55, condolences to Gill and the family. I am sorry I never met Adam, but my parents spoke very warmly of him as a neighbour and friend.

  38. Adam gave an invited talk years ago at Cardiff University and since then we have been using SketchEngine. Although I didn’t know Adam well, there was often an exchange for one reason or another. He was an admirable and lovely person and he has made an important indelible mark on the very nature of language research. His work has touched so many people.

    My thoughts are with his family, especially his wife and children. Wishing you peace and comfort in Adam’s memory and his great achievements.

    with best wishes
    Lise

  39. Adam was a great inspiration to my linguistics pursuit. My deepest condolences to the family.

  40. The death news of Adam was really shocking for us. We condole with his family and friends for this great loss and do hope his contributions, particularly the sketch engine, will form an enduring legacy in the computational linguistics field.
    May your soul rest in peace, Adam!

  41. Far, far too soon. I’ll miss Adam’s wit, intelligence, enthusiasm, generosity and kindness. A light’s gone out that all of us involved with corpora benefited from. My sincerest condolences to those close to Adam. You must miss him terribly.
    Chris

  42. Thank you Adam for sharing part of your life with us. Although we professionally met just a couple of times, you are one of the rare persons who are able to leave a mark just passing by. My deepest condolences go to the family of this extraordinary colleague and scholar.

  43. Dear Gill and the kids,
    We all are sad for losing Adam. And sad for you. But he has given us so much over the past few months, through his remarks in this blog, adding to all the pleasure we’ve had knowing him all these years, he has been teaching us about life, about what is important, about how to live. I am sorry and sad for you, and I am sad from our loss but there is some rich calmness that I find in me that is a gift from Adam.

  44. Hi Gill and family,
    You are very good to let us know, despite the fact that this is desperately sad news. Adam and I both gave our very first talks at the same conference in 1990 in Hungary, on Lake Balaton, half a lifetime ago. I greatly enjoyed his company then, and on every occasion since. I’ll miss him hugely. You should all be extremely proud of Adam and his achievements, and cherish every moment you spent with him, as we all do.
    Andy.

    PS, I hope Raffie liked the book: “Put a feather in your knickers”!!

  45. Dear Gill and family,
    Our thoughts and prayers are with you.
    Adam’s passing is a sad loss for all who knew him.
    We’ll always remember his enthusiasm and his smile.
    Cousin Leigh and Pat

  46. Adam has left a huge legacy. There isn’t a single language in Europe that hasn’t benefited from his work. He was a giant on whose shoulders many will stand. Let that be a consolation to his family.

  47. Dear Adam,

    I will always remember you as a trusted colleague, friend and somebody who always stood for his principles.

    My fondest memory is you showing me a video of your son Boris (barely 1 year old at the time) trying to kick a football and I remember how proud you were of him. Your legacy will continue to live through your family but also through your work which has inspired so many in this field. Perhaps I have not had the chance to say directly to you how privileged I feel I have met you in my life. I can do that now.

    Many thanks for all your help my friend – R.I.P.

  48. We would like to offer our deepest condolences to Adam`s family. He was a truly warm person and a wonderful linguist. He`s impact on Estonian lexicography has been significant and will not be forgotten. We will deeply miss him!

    Jelena, Maria, Margit, Kristina and other colleagues from the Institute of Estonian Language

  49. I am sorry for your loss. Hope you might find a little of comfort in knowing he left a great impression in the academic community.
    I met him sometime ago in a conference in Brazil, so nice person!

  50. Such sad news, I hardly know what to say. My condolences to the family.

    Adam will be greatly missed.

  51. This is very sad news. It was a privilege to know and work with Adam. He will be missed. Our thoughts are with Gill and the family.
    Vineeta, Nilanjana and Sam

  52. Dear Adam’s Family,

    My deepest condolences are with you. Adam was a great researcher, mentor, friend and an awesome boss. I was fortunate to work with Adam for couple of memorable years. Adam has taught me that research is actually fun. The love and passion for research was instilled by him. He was always inspirational, be it professional or personal. He was best in whatever he did. I got to learn a lot of things from him.

    I still remember all the moments we shared together. He used to treat us like his own. He always inspired us to think out of the box and challenge the existing. Adam will always be alive in our thoughts and will always stay with us.

    Regards
    Avinesh

  53. This is very sad news and I send my sincere condolences to the family. I hope that knowing that Adam was held in such esteem and affection by so many people will be of some comfort at this bleak time.

  54. My sincere condolences to Adam’s family on your loss. I knew Adam as one of the most insightful and also practical scholars in the field of computational lexicography, and will treasure the memory of our last intensive discussion in Reykjavik last May. His work will remain as a lasting and influential landmark in the field. We owe him much, and are very grateful.

  55. Very very sad news. My heart goes out to Gill, Boris, Maddie, Raffie (Adam loved to talk about you all) and to Adam’s friends. The spark in his smile will always shine.

  56. Dear Gill, Boris, Maddie and Raffie,

    Our deepest condolences on behalf of friends and colleagues from the University of Barcelona, where Adam gave memorable talks. He will also be remembered by his wonderful kindness and generosity till the last day. Our thoughts are with you.

    Natalia Judith and Isabel

  57. Gill, Boris, Maddie and Raffie,

    I salute Adam’s outstanding achievements as a professional but especially as a human being. In supporting me to learn and use SketchEngine, Adam was, as with others, generous and helpful. I join with many others in offering you sincere sympathy in your great loss. Denise from Dublin.

  58. That is very sad news. I would like to send my sincere condolences to the family.

    Adam was not only a great linguist but also a very kind person. I met him for the fist time when I was starting my PhD in a conference in Vienna and I remember his patience and kindness while he explained about his work. I was fortunate to meet him on a few other ocasions after that and to have interesting conversations without him about language and corpora.

    Adam will be greatly missed.

  59. Dear Adam’s family,
    please accept my sincere condolences.
    However, you should be proud of Adam, his role in corpus and computational linguistics and the deep impact he made on all of us, not just with his pioneering research but also as a dear colleague and wonderful human being. We’ll all miss him a lot!
    Marko

  60. We had just started a project when I first found, through an email, that Adam was ill. I was really shocked. I sent him an email and said “I hope you will recover soon”. But he replied “it is serious”. I felt confused for several days. But so amazing was his good spirit and his attitude towards his condition. So many condolences to his family. He will be remembered and as Sa’di, the Persian poet, says:
    سعدیا مرد نکونام نمیرد هرگز
    مرده آنست که نامش به نکویی نبرند
    (One who is well remembered will never die)

    I first met Adam in Brno at Lexicom Workshop.

  61. Such a warm and generous and delightful man as Adam comes along only rarely in this life. I spent very little time with him, but felt he was genuinely a friend. All whose paths he crossed are lucky to have known him, and our lives are better for it.

    1. Sorry, I posted before finishing.

      My heart goes out to Adam’s family. I can only hope that the outpouring of affection on this blog offers some solace.

  62. We sadly regret losing Adam. He had a character with rare wit and insight. None of those who saw or interacted with him will every forget him. He left behind a legacy of research contributions and admiring peers and students.

  63. Dear Adam’s family,

    I met Adam when I was doing my PhD and I will never forget all his teaching and inspiring lectures. He always found the time to listen and answer your doubts and enquiries. He was a Master for many of us.
    I saw him at Bolzano and I remember telling him that my husband was going through a cancer and I just could not believe that two months later he was the one to tell me the bad news.
    I know how difficult these moments are and I just wanted to tell you that you have all been an inspiration for me. My thoughts are with you.
    As Paul Heacok states “all whose paths he crossed are lucky to have known him, and our lives are better for it.”

    We will really miss him.

    Araceli ALONSO

  64. My warmest condolences to Adam’s family, I was very saddened by the news of his death. It was a pleasure meeting Adam at CICLing in 2003, I still remember that he played the Beatles’ “Ob-La-Di, Ob-La-Da” song in his keynote talk. That was one of the most enjoyable conferences I’ve been to, and Adam’s kindness and great spirit, as well as Boris devouring his Lord of the Rings book, are fond memories of those days in Mexico.

    http://www.cicling.org/2003/photos/alexander/

  65. Adam was so brave, so calm, so good with words! His contributions to
    science and humanities will be sorely missed.

    R.I.P. Adam!

  66. My deepest condolences to the family. We all admired Adam and his work. A clear mind and a generous spirit. Thanks, Adam.

  67. I met Adam at the Eurolan summer school in Jasi, Romania in 2001. He was giving away two books that he had bought and read on his way to Romania. I took one of them. It was Fay Weldon’s ‘The Heart of the Country’. Since then, I have read several books recommended by Adam. They have enriched my life, just like his own articles and occasional conversations with him have.

  68. Though I’ve been following Adam’s blog in the past few months, the news about his death still came as a shock…
    Without his selfless help and support I wouldn’t have got access to the corpus I’m working with and on which my research is based… He was such a good person and that is what shines through all the comments posted on (t)his blog. Obviously, not only for me he has set an example.
    My thoughts are with his family, friends and colleagues.

  69. So, so sorry to hear that the lovely Adam is no longer with us. Sending lots of love to Gill and family. I used to run with Adam in the hills around Sussex
    University and did the Hastings Half Marathon with him many years ago. We also had an unsuccessful attempt (my fault) at a car share! Such a kind, calm, funny man. And a brave one. x

  70. My deepest condolences to Adam’s family. Adam has been a collegue of mine for almost 20 years now. He made a huge impact on me and my collegues in Sweden and Gothenburg as a brilliant researcher thinking outside the frame as was mentioned before and as a cheerful good friend who always had the time to listen to everyone.
    He will always be remembered among other things as “the Englishman who loved herring”.
    Yours sincerely,
    Sofie

  71. So sad to hear this news about an old friend with whom I have enjoyed conversations in various conferences and workshops and other places during the last 35 years. My sincerest condolences to Adam’s family.

  72. Dear Gill, Boris, Maddie and Raffie,

    My heartfelt sympathy for you! I really hope these postings — showing how much your husband/father was appreciated — will not be a burden for you!

    Adam was such a warm, clever and non-conventional scholar. Everyone loved and admired him.

    After talking with him in several occasions, but especially by reading this blog where he was so open, I learned he was a wonderful human being.

    I am sure you, are, too.

    May his memory always live in you, and in us all, and keep inspiring us!
    Diana

  73. I’d like to send our sincere condolences from the Cambridge English team to Gill and family. All who met Adam remember many happy times spent with him – the picture shows one of my favourite memories chatting with Adam and Anne Fiddes at the 2013 Learner Corpus Conference in Bergen. Rest in peace, Adam.

  74. I don’t suppose you remember me. I was at school with Adam (or Bernie as we used to call him for some reason) and have lived nearly all the time since very far away. Indeed I hadn’t seen Adam in years but he had that ability to always make you feel that you were important to him and that he valued your opinion.
    I remember him being just so much cleverer than anyone else at school. He was in a different league as a thinker. Most of all I remember him standing up at assembly one morning and in front of the whole school, including grim gown-wearing masters and the scary Mr Henschel, the Head and instead of reading the normal religious tripe that was always read every other one of the 1400 days we were there, he read an extract from “Why I’m not a Christian” by Bertrand Russell. It was followed by absolute silence for what seemed a very long time, then wild cheering from the boys until Mr Henschel restored order and dismised us from the hall incandescent with rage.
    From seven years of assemblies, it is the only one I remember. The man was a legend!
    I’m not certain whether I’m glad or sad I didn’t know about this blog. It makes very painful reading, but it reflects his humanity and warmth and enormous intelligence. It really is quite beautiful in places.
    He should be alive and contributing to the world’s share of happiness, humanity and knowledge.
    I can only sympathise with the loss his family are suffering and hope that they can draw on his memory to help them through the agony of separation.

  75. Adam was really so much fun, and so interesting to be around (either virtually or in person). I think I first met Adam in person back at one of my earliest conferences, although I think we corresponded even before then – probably about collocations since that was perhaps the only thing I knew about back then (perhaps I haven’t learned that much since then since I keep going back to them :) In any case, at some conference in around 1997 I heard a whisper behind me saying something like “I really liked (something I had done about collocations)… ” and well of course it was Adam and I was quite surprised and flattered that he knew anything about me, and I was just struck by how welcome he made feel, and the little burst of confidence he provided with that small remark. I think Adam often did that – I have seen him more than a few times listening to others very carefully, getting excited, and whether he agreed or disagreed I think he made everyone he interacted with feel very respected and valued. That was a rare ability, and something I think we could all learn a lot from. There were many things we could learn from Adam in fact, and I know I’ll certainly miss him very much.

    Finally, it has been a pleasure to get to know a bit more about Adam’s family and life through this blog. He was very lucky to be surrounded by such caring people, and I really am very sorry for the loss you must feel.

    With great affection,
    Ted

  76. Dear Adam’s family,

    I have no words to express how deeply sorry I am to read the unbelievably sad news. Although I’ve been following the blog regularly during the past few months, I was really shocked. I would like to express my sympathy to you. I had a great pleasure to communicate with such a great scientist per Email in order to ask some questions concerning my PhD dissertation.
    Please accept my sincere condolences at this difficult time.

    Best Regards,
    Shirin

  77. A very sad day – my condolences to all the family. Not only was Adam a great colleague, corpus linguist, and lexicographer, he also introduced me to my partner Corina, so he will always have a place in our hearts.

    John

  78. Wendi Nichols wrote “…the searing pain of loss which you fear will be this intense forever will not, in fact, sustain its force, and that the memories which you cannot bear to recall, but at the same time fear will fade, will bring more joy than reminder of loss.”

  79. Dear Adam,

    We met in Iasi a long time ago, and you managed to mark my life by finding a way (a European grant) to bring me to the LEXICOM in Brighton in 2002. As one of our colleagues in EuroLan 2001 put it, you were indeed “able to leave a mark just passing by”. A great soul and a great scholar…

    My deepest sympathy goes to your family. Their pain upon your parting will in time be counterbalanced by the great chance of having been in your proximity in many ways….

    Love and gratitude,

    Rodica

  80. Adam, although you’re not here any more, I hope you don’t mind me talking to the memory that so many people will keep of you. You were unfailingly helpful and engaged and quite obviously so dammed *interested* in everything. Anybody looking at the photos on here will also notice that the unsmiling ones are in a tiny minority. You were a proper academic, enthusiastic in arguing but never asking people to just take your word for anything (they could ask a corpus, after all:)). You were also clearly as enthusiastic for other people’s success as you were for your own.

    If you’ve left acquaintances and colleagues feeling so bereft at your going, I can only guess how your family feel. I wish them all the strength and love that they will need.

    And if I can go with half the dignity and balance that you managed, I will think I have died a good death.

    Thanks Adam, sleep well.

  81. Dear Gill, Boris, Maddie and Raffie,

    I wanted to express my deepest sympathy and offer my condolences. I was so shocked when Adam told me about his disease a few months ago and I still can’t believe he is no longer with you, he is no longer with us. I met him for the first time on Lake Balaton in Hungary in 1990 and we’ve met on many, many occasions since then (mostly at Euralex congresses). He visited us and stayed with us in Seattle about 8 years ago, but also in Luxembourg two or three times over the last few years. I can’t find the words to say how inspiring I found all his papers and presentations, and how pleasant every single meeting with him was (maybe he told you about a concert he attended in Luxembourg a couple of years ago, where our son was playing). Everyone will tell you you can be proud of him. We’ll all miss him a lot because we’ve lost a great linguist, an inspiring researcher and a wonderful friend. — Thierry and Cécile

  82. so very sad to hear this, my deepest condolences to all. it was great to get a chance to work with Adam and to visit his home. his positive energy and attitude really caught you. his smile can’t be forgotten, nor his work.
    rest in peace and thanks for being you, Adam.

  83. Dear all, dear family,

    I’ve been in touch with Adam since 2007, the year I discovered Sketch Engine, which, as opposed to other similar tools (well, SkE is actually sui generis, there are no similar tools), supports Hebrew and Arabic, which I worked on at the time. This commenced a long and prolific correspondence and I luckily hold more than 100 emails from Adam, covering so many topics in linguistics, but also personal things, like the time where he volunteered in a kibbutz eons ago.

    It was a pleasure being in touch with him, and later meet him in person, he was always responsive, funny, outrageously opinionated and smart, sometimes aggressive but in a loving way, and a rare phenomenon – a master of the English language and the best of writers combined with a 1000 typos per 100 words, no doubt due to haste, since he kept so many balls in the air.

    I’m reminded of something Goethe once wrote – namely that candles burning with strong flame, burn faster. But then I’m also reminded of the words of the Buddha: “Thousands of candles can be lit from a single candle, and the life of the candle will not be shortened. Happiness never decreases by being shared.”

    Even dying he did in his own way, listening to his inner drummer and teaching us some lessons on the way.

    I’m positive he passed on some of this flame and fire to the family to see beyond the sorrow and the painful loss. I feel for you.

    Blessings from Haifa,
    Noam

  84. It was with the greatest of pleasure having Adam to stay with us only such a few short weeks ago. We are so glad to have been able to share time with him, time which was all to short. We extend our love and support to Adams’ family at this time of such great sadness. Our deepest sympathy to all the family.
    Marcus and Caterina ( William Parker school friend and wife)

  85. My thoughts are with Gill and family at this terrible time

    I have known Adam since I started at West St Leonards primary school in 1968 (so Adam is my oldest friend) and continued in the same class at the Grammar School. At school he was of course brilliant at every subject; arts and sciences (which was unfair for us mere mortals trying to compete) but great fun too in our very small leftish circle. It was great that he found a profession (from what I can understand of it) that could combine a love for the language with a scientific analysis.
    We were together in the early days of Hastings Athletics Club and we drove each other on to faster middle distance times, Adam coming out on top with an incredible 2:04 for 800m. We would meet up every year the Hastings Half Marathon where a combination of Adam, Trev, me (and occasionally Paul Ralph) would run round and meet up with school fiends after for a drink or two with all of the old school friends (we had a great run round together not so long ago, reminiscing about all the sights on the way). It was great to see Adam on great form just a few weeks ago for the annual get together

    I found this photo from Hastings Athletics Club in 1973, Adam at the back with eyes closed (me 2nd row 4th from left)

  86. You and your family have been in my thoughts these past weeks. I am so very sorry for your loss.

  87. Dear Gill and family,
    My colleagues at the Faculty of English Studies, University of Athens and I, who had worked with Adam on our MA in Lexicography would like to express our sincerest condolences to you and your family for the loss of Adam. We will always remember him as a kind-hearted, amiable and courageous person and a giving and inspiring scholar. We are thinking of all of you and wish you have all the strength you need through this very difficult time.
    Maria

  88. Am very grateful to have known Adam briefly and the evening he and Gill spent at 175 Freshfield Road will be fondly remembered, not least not least because of his willingness to speak out honestly irrespective of whether his views fitted with the sometimes shallow consensus that surrounds political and social concerns. On another side of life… his enabling of the local football event is one of the ‘big things’ in young Robin’s life. We will remember him.
    Chris

  89. Our deepest sympathy and condolences to Adam’s family.

    We first met Adam in Kuala Lumpur in 2005, and later at conferences and the LexiCom Masterclass.

    We corresponded through e-mails and Skype before the diagnosis as we arranged to work together on a project in December 2014. Alas it was not meant to be.

    Adam will be fondly remembered and sadly missed.

    Fadilah Salmah Rusmadi and friends in KL

  90. Dear Gill

    I remember being at Caro’s 50th birthday party and having a good conversation with Adam, whom I hadn’t seen since Cambridge. As so often seems to have happened to so many people, things he said stayed in my mind, especially about how committed he was to his work (“my work is much more interesting than anything you can read about in the newspapers”). The vividness of his interest was inspiring and
    I sometimes think of it still when my own enthusiasm runs dry. It is a rare ability to enhance life like that, lightly, almost casually, without even trying. I wish you and your family all the greatest possible love and friendship over the coming years.

  91. Dearest Gill,

    I found Adams blog too late, I’m so sorry I didn’t check more closely before leaving my previous comment.
    So sorry to hear about your loss. Lots and lots of love to you and the family. With all my heart. Linda

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