FullText index performance issue

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Hi, I'm running a fulltext query on a ~50000 record mysql database and
while performance is usually satisfying - about 0.02 secs per query, i
get a critical performance deterioration when looking for popular
keywords (words that appear in more than 50% of the data) - about 0.25
secs/query. I know that the standard fulltext engine does not return
any results on such words, and this is good, but this does not explain
the performance issue. Any ideas?

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