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Phrase Thesaurus

Finding alternate ways of saying the same thing
 
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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 words.

There are obviously multiple ways of saying the same thing but sometimes we 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.

holophile, Jul 15 2004

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       Would be useful as a cliché buster, too.
DrCurry, Jul 15 2004
  

       My Roget's Thesaurus does this (the one on the shelf). Are you asking for a proper Thesaurus online?
gnomethang, Jul 15 2004
  

       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
> small
A - DO YOU WANT A SYNONYM OF "SMALL"?
B - IS SOMETHING SMALL COMPARED TO SOMETHING ELSE?
C - IS SOMETHING SO SMALL THAT ______?
> c
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]
  

       ...and so on.
phundug, Jul 15 2004
  

       That dog won't hunt.....
normzone, Jul 15 2004
  

       [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.
holophile, Jul 15 2004
  

       Welcome to the bakery, BTW.
RayfordSteele, Jul 15 2004
  

       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.
DrCurry, Jul 15 2004
  

       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.
gnomethang, Jul 16 2004
  

       [RS] Thanks!
[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 expressions.
Thanks for the input!
holophile, Jul 16 2004
  
      
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