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This would either be online or built into a
word processor. The basic idea behind
thesaurus apps is really just a database
that links terms together, so why not take
it one step further and use groups of
There are obviously multiple ways of
saying the same thing but sometimes
can't seem to find the right one. If a
database was available, you could find the
one you really meant or the one you liked
because it sounded more professional.
I don't expect the computer to understand
the context of the phrase. Just to offer
other common phrases found in it's
database built from similar keywords in
the phrase you've entered. And this would
all be entirely user driven much like
existing thesaurus applications.
This could eventually be useful in a
language translator where the exact
translation may not mean what you expect
it to. A more intelligent system might even
be able to suggest the alternatives to you
while it returns your translation results.
||Would be useful as a cliché buster, too.
||My Roget's Thesaurus does this (the one on the shelf). Are you asking for a proper Thesaurus online?
||It could also suggest *techniques* of expressing a concept, rather than just lists of words/phrases.
||For example, an interactive thesaurus program could go like this:
||ENTER A CONCEPT
A - DO YOU WANT A SYNONYM OF "SMALL"?
B - IS SOMETHING SMALL COMPARED TO SOMETHING ELSE?
C - IS SOMETHING SO SMALL THAT ______?
METHOD 1 - TRY NAMING AN REFERENCE OBJECT AND SAYING HOW MANY X'S WOULD FIT INSIDE THAT OBJECT
[For suggestions click here]
METHOD 2 - FOR A LIST OF COMMON SIMILES AND METAPHORS INVOLVING SMALLNESS [click here]
METHOD 3 - GIVE A PRECISE NUMERICAL MEASUREMENT [for unit conversions click here]
||[DC] I like that... it might turn out to be
useful for songwriters too.
[gt] I was unaware of that. I'll have to
check that out. Unfortunately I don't
have a lot of room for books so I was
looking for a more extensive online
version or similar wp plugin
[pd] That may be a direction to head
eventually. I was looking to keep it
simple like a google tool. Your spin may
have some merit but I wouldn't even
know how to program it... it seems the
app would need to understand the
context of the word or words.
||Welcome to the bakery, BTW.
||gnome (or should I call you thang?): not mine - which edition you got? I have a slang dictionary that has phrases, but it's not a thesaurus.
||Gnome is fine (hell, I'll answer to anything!). I just opened 'Everyman's Thesaurus of English Words and Phrases' by Peter Roget (Revised 1971).
In a moment of serendipity it fell open at Confutation:
(Substantives: refutation, disproof, conviction, invalidation etc.
Phrases (substantive): Reductio ad absurdum, a knock down argument, a tu quoque argument. Then there are Verbs (to confute, to refute, disprove etc. Then more <verbal> phrases:
To cut the ground from one's feet. Then adjectives (refutable etc). Finally adjectival phrases:
The argument falls to the ground, it won't hold water, that cock won't fight.
I thought that this approach was standard in this book. Interestingly, on the same page you always get the opposite so that next to 'Confutation' there is 'Demonstration'.
||Just thinking about this, would it not be fairly straightforward to create a web based plug-in to recreate this book?. Each entry could have some meta tag (or equivalent) that provides the definition. I would certainly like an online version. In the book, most definitions are less than a page in length.
[gt] Perhaps a Wiki. Although it would
be a pain to moderate. The shear
volume of entries to start would require
a team of moderators. Of course, they
would also have to ensure that no
copyrights were broken. So much for
copying from the book =(
One nice advantage is that international
visitors could help add to local
Thanks for the input!