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
A hive of inactivity

idea: add, search, annotate, link, view, overview, recent, by name, random

meta: news, help, about, links, report a problem

account: browse anonymously, or get an account and write.




Unified Vocabulary - like Unicode, but for words instead of characters.
  (+3, -6)
(+3, -6)
  [vote for,

If you go to the unicode.org website, they state that:

"Unicode provides a unique number for every character, no matter what the platform, no matter what the program, no matter what the language."

I don't see why the same concept couldn't be applied to words instead of characters. If everything was written in Univoc, then translation would be a breeze, and could be implemented simply be converting a Univoc number to a word in the desired language. Grammar differences between languages could be handled by heuristics or could be embedded into Univoc itself.

Univoc numbers would probably have to be 64 bits to take into account every possible permutation and combination of prefixes and suffixes that could be applied to a word.

Also, slightly different meanings of the same word would need different Univoc numbers. See the dictionary definition of the word "set" for an example of a wordy word.

AntiQuark, Nov 17 2004

Dictionary.com/Set http://dictionary.r...m/search?q=set&r=67
Various meanings of the word 'set'. [AntiQuark, Nov 17 2004]

Unicode.org Website http://www.unicode.org/
All about Unicode [AntiQuark, Nov 17 2004]

Somewhat related http://www.halfbakery.com/idea/ICML
(Shameless s-p) [angel, Nov 18 2004]

Logopandecteision. Book I: Neaudethaumata http://penelope.uch...urquhart/logo3.html
Sir Thomas Urquhart, writing in 1653 (!). That was before the invention of not rambling, but if you read past the part where he complains about his tenants being beaten up, there's a bit about everything having a unique name. Among other things. [jutta, Sep 24 2005]

Concepts Wiki http://concept.wikia.com
Instead of a binary code, uses indices like in dictionaries. [Inyuki, Jul 27 2010]


       Q6886317 994W8668 (very nice)
Worldgineer, Nov 17 2004

       Sentence structure would still be an issue, but at least the words themselves would be translatable.
shapu, Nov 17 2004

       This idea involves basic semiotic fallacies #66589, #1553, and most importantly #997221.
jutta, Nov 17 2004

       #66589? Surely you mean #85731.
AntiQuark, Nov 17 2004

       You'll run into problems with words like "live" and "can" having multiple meanings in different contexts. Unless you have unicode for each meaning .....hey, that would clarify english!   

       "Can live"   

       -Do you mean a tin can on TV in real-time OR the ability to survive?   

       "Can [10293] live [92938]"   

       Oh, a tin can on TV, OK I'll be sure not to miss that!!   


       You'd also have to have a unicode groups of words:   

       "Third World War"   

       "A war in a third world country or the war to end all wars?"   

       "Third-World [84938] War [39485]"   

       "Yikes, I'll go get my Tesla Death Ray fromt he shed".   


       BTW: We already have global univoc words:   

       Shoe = Nike Food = Macdonalds Drink = Coke   

       Scary, but true...
not_only_but_also, Nov 17 2004

       Did you read the whole idea? //Also, slightly different meanings of the same word would need different Univoc numbers.//
Worldgineer, Nov 17 2004

       sp: #66588
FarmerJohn, Nov 17 2004

       [jutta], are you just joking or are you thinking of specific semiotic fallacies? If the latter, I'd be interested to know exactly what they are. I've read that there are so-far-insurmountable difficulties involved in creating this sort of meta-language (Stephen Pinker mentions it in his book The Language Instinct) but I don't know what they are. I suppose the shades of meaning amongst all the world's languages are just too many, but not_only_but_also seems to have dealt with most of the problems (nice anno, btw). So, a tentative bun, unless and until some Chomsky-studying half-baker explains why this is impossible.
spacemoggy, Nov 18 2004

       Well, they're not numbered, obviously, but off the top of my head, some are   

       (1) "Meanings exist independent of words and people." A chair is a chair, even if nobody is talking about it.
(2) "Meanings have clear boundaries." You can always tell whether something is a chair or not.
(3) "We can agree on meanings." If you and I use the same word for different things, that's bad.
(4) "The only function of words is to denote something." Instead of a chair, you might as well say #123134.

       It's convenient to believe that these statements are true, and you can get pretty far with that - kind of the way Newtonian physics work out unless you move at very high speeds or look at very small things. But up close, I don't think they're true at all.   

       I can ramble on about this quite a bit, and I won't, but just for the general thrust of the argument "up close":
How do you know what a chair is? Well, you probably grew up using and seeing chairs, and someone pointed to a chair and said "chair", and then you've done that internally yourself - you saw a lot of things that were generally chair-like. So, it's similar to everybody else's from your culture, but not quite identical, because each individual person's experiences are just a little different. But it's okay, you know there's a big overlapping center, so you don't have to say *exactly* what a chair means to you. (You could say "the funny looking chair" if there's any danger of being misunderstood.) You can talk to someone else about a "chair" because it doesn't have a precise meaning. Words are fuzzy, and they have to be fuzzy to work.
jutta, Sep 24 2005

       It hink English could be done in 16 bit (2 characters). But different languages have different substrata. In English one might say "chair", referring to the set of objects that are chair-shaped, but in another language the common word could mean "the place where my butt rests" which would include the piled up empty cases of beer that have been sitting in the corner for a couple years that everybody sits on, but not refer to the chair which is being used as a filing cabinet.
FlyingToaster, Jul 27 2010


back: main index

business  computer  culture  fashion  food  halfbakery  home  other  product  public  science  sport  vehicle