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Say I'm going to write an article about inventors and want to do some background research to see how others have described them, what studies show about them, etc. I go to an Internet search engine like Google and type "Inventors ~are *"
The ~ in front of the "are" will give me synonyms for the word
"are." The wild card of "*" will give me ALL parts of speech following the phrase "inventors are." But I only want adjectives like fat, stupid, lazy, hot, etc. I don't want prepositions, conjunctions, or pronouns.
I want to be able to hunt for adjectives only with a search like "inventors are *adjective" where *adjective better defines the wild card I seek. I could also search for *noun, *verb and so on.
The search engine would have to look to a list of words for various parts of speech such as (1).
Edit 2013-08-24: the Asterisk could also be placed in the front of a number -- *number, or symbol -- *@ in order to search for these specific items.
(1) List of adjectives
Parts of speech database a search engine would require for more specific wild card searches [Sunstone, Jul 31 2013]
||Hmm. I didn't think much of your example, but on
momentary reflection I think it would be very useful
to be able to specify parts of speech in searches.
Google should *verb this.
||But would it work as a mouse trap?
||Oh. I thought this was going to have to do with my San Diego Chargers making it into the playoffs.