Half a croissant, on a plate, with a sign in front of it saying '50c'
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Intersection Thesaurus

Look up two words, find the words that relate to both of them.
  [vote for,

Doug is writing up an incident report to discuss what happened in his laboratory last night. All he told me was that it involved ethanol and a large electromagnet.

Doug needs a word similar to both "mangle" and "break". More explicitly, he needs a verb that both describes the action of changing unsatisfactorily, and making some object no longer function.

He attempted using the reverse lookup dictionary, but he had a hard time constructing a definition to suit his needs. He would much rather enter two words into a web form, and have the computer do the work for him.

Such a service could be implemented by creating a map of relationships between lexemes. The search process would involve building a list of synonyms for the two queried words, and returning the intersection of lexemes that correlate with both words.

ed, Nov 29 2007

Reverse-lookup Online Dictionary Reverse-lookup_20Online_20Dictionary
Doug tried to use this resource to solve his problem. [ed, Nov 29 2007]

Visual Thesaurus http://www.visualthesaurus.com/
I like this UI [hippo, Nov 29 2007]

Princeton WordNet http://wordnet.princeton.edu/
Perhaps this data set could be adapted [wiml, Nov 29 2007]


       An excellent idea and very easy to implement.[+] For example, the results given from a search at thesaurus.com could be searched for a second term with very little additional code. You can kinda do it using CTRL+f.   

       The search could be made better by also looking at second level relationships if there are no results for the 2 terms you entered, ie, a word from each result have the same synonym.
marklar, Nov 29 2007

       My only concern is that the whole scenario behind this idea is a sham. It's really going to be used for inventive pun creation, isn't it?!   

       (Wow, [hippo]. That's a very smart bit of content presentation. I'm impressed.)
Jinbish, Nov 29 2007

       Yes, very nice, it allowed Tom to find the word "mutilate", which appears to fit Doug's requirements.
zen_tom, Nov 29 2007

       I would have settled for 'breangle', myself. There's nothing wrong with a good portmanteau, or goodmanteau.
Jinbish, Nov 29 2007

       Cool, now I just need to find a dictionary and look up lexemes. But even as a pun creation tool it is cool.
MisterQED, Nov 29 2007

       This is the 'six degrees of separation' graph traversal problem, although for sensible answers it has to be a three-step chain from Word A <-> target <-> Word B.   

       What's potentially more fun is any odd-numbered chain of the form Word A <-> Word A+1 <-> ... target ... Word B-1 Word B.   

       I might just code this up this evening for the fun of it - I have all the necessary tools.   

gtoal, Nov 29 2007


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