Wednesday, July 9, 2008

thsrs: the shorter thesaurus

I do try to follow the rule of never using a long word when a short word will do. Boy howdy is that difficult when, in my field, you must use "hegemony" at least 27 times in your seminar papers before you are awarded your degree.

Ok, I kid. And I have never used "hegemony" in a seminar paper. I am, however, enamored with things like rhizomes, gaps, blanks, and the post-human, so I'm not really sure who "wins" in this situation.

But I digress.

From David at Ironic Sans (awesome blog name), we now have Thsrs: the shorter thesaurus. The intention is to solve this problem: "How can you intelligently get across a complex thought in just 140 characters without needing to use ugly abbreviations (e.g. w/o needing 2 use ugly abbrev's)?" Thsrs returns only those words which are shorter than the word you entered.

This tool would have come in handy when I was pinch-hitting and reading someone else's academic paper...the paper was five minutes longer than it should have been, and the word "remunerate" was used several times. I said to my advisor, when we were figuring out what to do about that, "what the heck is wrong with saying 'pay' one or two of those times?" Thsrs agrees.