Half a croissant, on a plate, with a sign in front of it saying '50c'
h a l f b a k e r y
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How would you word it?

A website that acts as a human thesaurus for your sentences or paragraphs
  (+16, -4)(+16, -4)
(+16, -4)
  [vote for,

Users post sentences or small paragraphs they are writing from their blog, speech, essay, email, etc. and see if other people can re-word it more clearly. Like a very specific YahooAnswers for Microediting.
goodmars, Jan 12 2009

Idiom Thesaurus Idiom Thesaurus
(Shameless self promotion) This was my take on the problem, in book form. [zen_tom, Jan 12 2009]

Law of the Few http://tinyurl.com/yodyfr
Gladwell's Law from The Tipping Point [goodmars, Jan 13 2009]

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wicked_Bible [Spacecoyote, Jan 17 2009]


       A fresh, thinly flaked, warm and cozy croissant! [+]   

       Ohhh the fantasy! Excuse me, I'm tearing up here. I love it! Oh if only!
Sir_Misspeller, Jan 12 2009

       So what's my "reword" if I do this?
phundug, Jan 12 2009

       hmmm, let's see: "how do i "reword" this"   

       3 words shorter =)
goodmars, Jan 12 2009

       I first thought I would like this for my halfbakery ideas, it's the only place I post. But then again, my inadequacies are part of what makes me zeno right? So-.
zeno, Jan 12 2009

       why must you hurt me so zeno.
goodmars, Jan 12 2009

       Can Beanybaby beta-test this, please?
MaxwellBuchanan, Jan 12 2009

       This stuff happens all the time on Amazon Mechanical Turk. I tried to make a couple bucks there once and quickly found out that the pay is really, really crappy in relation to the amount of work requested. One might call it a "sweatshop for the digital age".
Spacecoyote, Jan 12 2009

       A large part of my job is the drafting of very important documents where nuance, fine distinctions and what is left ambiguous or unsaid is very important. I will always have a better idea than anyone else of the careful line I'm trying to tread when drafting a particular sentence. It therefore follows that anyone else who changes what I write - even if they *think* they're preserving my meaning - will cock it up. [-]
hippo, Jan 13 2009

       I think the number of questioners will outweigh the number of answerers since the incentive to post questions (i.e. "I'm lazy, someone do my work") will be far greater than the incentive to post answers (i.e. "behold my superior writing skills").   

       Perhaps cash incentives (with the value/bounty defined by the questioner) being awarded to the best answer provided.   

       Cash incentives to provide answers to questions were used successfully on "Google Answers" before it was mysteriously abandoned.   

       It does raise the broader question: "what makes some collaborative online projects succeed like wikipedia, linux and (arguably) halfbakery, while the vast majority fail (e.g. most wikis and open-source projects lie dormant)?"
xaviergisz, Jan 13 2009

       Utility: all parties involved have a worthwhile exchange. For instance, linux is both free as in GPL and free as in beer. So people get to use linux for free. But, if they end up improving on it (and this happens a lot as linux is used by many companies, there are people who are paid to make things work, and if that means they have to modify the kernel then so be it), they must give that improvement back to the community. It's a two way street.   

       Wikipedia, on the other hand, has a lower ratio of users to contributors. It still works though because there is a lot of interest. Regular people learn from Wikipedia about whatever, but pedants, on the other hand, can't stand there being anything wrong on the internet, and won't rest until they correct it. With Wikipedia, they can. There are pedants in every field of expertise and the Wikipedia is the second most pedantful community I've seen (vandals don't count as community members).
Spacecoyote, Jan 13 2009

       "...and the Wikipedia is the second most pedantful community I've seen..." - you mean "...and Wikipedia" - in this case the word "the" is redundant.
hippo, Jan 13 2009

       [uoc9] don't you mean; "The qualities identified are congruent with the behavioural norms exhibited at the Halfbakery" ?
zen_tom, Jan 13 2009


       "how would you word it?"...the game! win points by reconstructing sentences!
goodmars, Jan 13 2009

       If you really wanted to be pedantic you could have pointed out that "pedantful" isn't a word.   

       (The "the" was a typographical error; I know that Wikipedia is a proper noun.)
Spacecoyote, Jan 13 2009

       I feel like the question of people answering/asking is akin to the situation of YahooAnswers. What compels people to give advice for things they know about, even though tangible benefits (conventionally defined) aren't existent?   

       Another point to consider is an idea from "The Tipping Point", that is "The Law of the Few" http://tinyurl.com/yodyfr
goodmars, Jan 13 2009

       Mostly I suppose people like to feel useful, practice their presentation skills and achieve a modicum of respect within a group.
FlyingToaster, Jan 13 2009

       well, I don't know if this is a fair assumption but the people asking for a re-word are probably not going to be able to "give" as well as others due to the scope of this website.
goodmars, Jan 14 2009

       so i might actually make this site and call it wordthought.com   

       what do you think?
goodmars, Jan 14 2009

       //i might actually make this site and call it wordthought.com// - "thoughtword.com", surely?
hippo, Jan 14 2009

       "thoughtword.com" is taken =(
goodmars, Jan 14 2009

       I go along with zeno's point on this one, particularly in the case of blogs. Your own style and way of phrasing things are what makes the document an interesting (well, unique anyway) read almost as much as the actual content.
DrBob, Jan 14 2009

       This site could be used for plagiarism - students begin with any published text, break it into separate sentences and get rewordings of each and then reassemble - voila. An unsearchable A+.
phundug, Jan 14 2009

       When you have worked out any simpler issues first. My joining as a beta could make the servers cook! I thought syntax was what they taxed in Nevada. Drop me an invite any time you're up for a challenge!
Sir_Misspeller, Jan 16 2009

       This meme has gotten annoying.
Spacecoyote, Jan 16 2009

       //A large part of my job is the drafting of very important documents where nuance, fine distinctions and what is left ambiguous or unsaid is very important. I will always have a better idea than anyone else of the careful line I'm trying to tread when drafting a particular sentence. It therefore follows that anyone else who changes what I write - even if they *think* they're preserving my meaning - will cock it up. [-]//
This is a fair representation of the part of my work day that isn't swearing and slamming down the phone (though in my case the level of importance is purely subjective) and though I have been doing this for some time now, I do still get cheesed off when red ink is spunked all over my perfectly conscice advice note. What I am leading up to is this: the site could have subsections for legal drafting and (dare I say it?) (I dare!) code and stuff, where correctitude is more important than shades of meaning.
calum, Jan 16 2009

       But [calum], program code works the other way around -
First, we steal from the web fragments of code that *don't* convey our intended meaning, but *do* include certain useful examples of correct syntax (in whatever new language we're trying to learn).
Then we polish them up semantically in private.

       In other words, with code, we start from (public) correct syntax and then add private correct semantics.   

       This idea, on the other hand, proposes that the beneficiaries of the service should start by publishing their meaning (semantics), and then have someone else add syntax, and then retrieve the finished product.   

       The status quo works (for code) because syntax is what everyone has in common, whereas semantics are more private (or, at least, more specific). I imagine that lawyers' clients wouldn't be happy about their legal affairs being published on the internet for rewording by random strangers.
pertinax, Jan 16 2009

       If it flies, it will rather work as a literary mirror(although recursive): *I wrote something, but what did the others read?*
loonquawl, Jan 16 2009

Spacecoyote, Jan 17 2009

       [pertinax], it has been forty million years and one change of career trajectory since I did any coding, but I do see a lot of similarity between how a legal agreement is drafted and how a program is written: your syntax/semantics distinction is pretty much apt for drafting. Though I stated it rather badly, what I was trying to say was that the site could be used in either field not for everyday problems that can be solved by cannibalising old code/agreements but for those admittedly rare occasions when you're asked by a client to do something new, specific and weird and you want to nail all the complexities in as elegant a way as possible.
calum, Jan 19 2009


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