Please clarify this. My impressions was that in the definition of phrase based patents a single word could count as a phrase. But then I'm not used to reading patents.
You have a good point there in terms of the spam patent but it is just one several phrase based patents, just one possible application. What is intended in this thread is to look at the possibility that Google may be setting their entire theming structure using phrase based technology. In other words, are we getting tunnel vision when we just look at this in terms or penalties and filters? I know I was.
I think you have a good point there. It would sure help those of us in academic topics if this were true. I doubt it is though.
I'm thinking this will take time for Google to refine. I'd assume they would always be looking at results and adjusting. Maybe they will eventually see a need doing something like you suggest.