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Word overuse indicator

Stops you using the word "detect" 9 times in the same paragraph
  [vote for,

Word processors like MS Word are increasingly trying to detect errors and judge you on your writing style, with repeatedly stupid results as they fail to detect elementary errors. But there's one simple and useful thing that word processors could detect. It's generally considered bad style, (unless you're D H Lawrence) to repeat the same word numerous times without variety.

A system could easily detect this, and having detected it flag up all the instances of repeated words. Perhaps repeated words could be colour-coded according to the detected frequency, with get-out clauses for "the" and other words you might be forced to repeat. This would enable you avoid clunking repetitions and to vary your vocabulary and find alternatives in the built-in thesaurus.

An add-on module could in little time also locate internal rhyme.

pottedstu, Jun 26 2002


       Although I usually disable all spell/grammar/style checkers immediately upon opening a word processing program, I can see benefit for some folks if this idea were implemented. So I gotta give it a croissant.
BigBrother, Jun 26 2002

       I thought Word already did this, but I turn the grammar checking off as I trust my own.   

       The simple answer to this is a word count: there are packages out there that count the occurrences of each word. Can't remember if Word does it.
DrCurry, Jun 26 2002

       If it does it'll be in Tools->Options->Spelling and Grammar->Settings; there are tick boxes to get the Grammar checker to watch out for Clichés, Colloquialisms, contractions, sentences longer than 60 words, more than three nouns in a row, wordiness...
sappho, Jun 26 2002

       My greatest obstacle to writing in a fluid style is to back off from a sentence I've just written quickly and then rework it to balance its definite articles so as not to overuse ‘the’, and to rework the form for sentences wherein I'm guessing tense as evidenced by overuse of ‘-ing’ suffixes. Maybe my bad grammar plugin should use dictionaries of short sentences written by teens?
reensure, Jun 28 2002

       Just make sure they're not like the two fine examples above.
angel, Jun 28 2002

       You know I would love to find out what words of wisdom the two wonderfully written annotations contain, but I just can't bring myself to actually read them.
kaz, Jun 28 2002

       Love the idea. Why stop at the written word. Lets extend it to everyday speech. If someone says "know what I mean?" more than once they spontaneously explode.
deeman, Jun 28 2002

       Word already does this.
lsteinho, Jun 30 2002

       Does your last paragraph rhyme intentionally? If you don't see, that, observe:   

       An add-on module could   

       in little time,   

       also locate   

       internal rhyme   

       How poetic.
NickTheGreat, Jul 03 2002

       Deeman - i'm with you on this along with repetition during speech of "right?", "actually" and "yeah?" and any other words that speakers with a low vocabulary use to try and ensure that you are following what they say whilst peppering their speech with expletives
lolo, Jul 05 2002

       on the spoken word-addiction thing.. how about introducing a prototype than auto-deletes the word "innit" when used as an omnipresent suffix to all sentences.   

       Until this is invented, get a box and stuff all offenders in-it....
luvanddaisies, Dec 26 2003

       That word that drives me up that wall is "that."
thumbwax, Sep 26 2005

xandram, Jan 20 2012

       Using a different word when the meaning is the same is a worse sin than repeating a word.   

       For example, if I'd said "Using a different word when the meaning is the same is a worse sin than repeating a term.", you would be left wondering how 'word' and 'term' differ in this context, and why repeating one would be worse than repeating the other. Clunking repetition may be bad style, but finding repeated words and making substitutions from a thesaurus only adds insult to injury.   

       In short, when the meaning is the same, use the same word. When the meaning is different, avoid using the same word. If clunking persists, rewrite.   

       Blindly enforcing rules without reference to their scope or intent is unhelpful.
spidermother, Jan 20 2012

       //Using a different word when the meaning is the same is a worse sin// When overdone, Fowler called it "elegant variation."   

       //In short, ...// very Aristotelian.
Earlier today I was writing a piece of technical prose. On about the 4th or 5th rewrite, I introduced, rather arbitrarily, a term for a particular thing, choosing a fairly distinctive word, so that I could use, thereafter, only that word, for that thing. The result was improved clarity, I think.
mouseposture, Jan 21 2012


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