- Ever asked yourself "What's the word for..."
I just happened
to stumble on a pretty interesting tool today.
I was trying to
find a word for “People that are behind the times” for my previous
blog post. I did a couple of searches in Google without avail and
eventually started scouring for a tool that did a reverse lookup on
a word. A tool where I would give the definition, and it would give
me some words that matched that definition. What I discovered was
Onelook.com’s Reverse Dictionary.
Dictionaries allow you to “Describe a concept” in order to find
words that match that description.
especially for all of us non-Harvard graduates.
What I find the
most interesting though is all of the uses for this tool. It is
actually a very smart search engine. You would be surprised the
sort of answers you could get from asking a variety of questions.
Here are some of potential applications that One Look describes:
- Find a word,
when you know its definition, [or a portion of the definition].
- Explore related
concepts. Baseball, clouds, cities.
- Generate a list
of words in some category. I.E. Large Birds, Green fruit, Canadian
- Answer basic
identification questions. What is the capital of Vietnam, Who is
big birds friend on Sesame Street. What is the longest River in the
In actuality One
look is indexing much more then just dictionaries to find these
answers. They index encyclopedia’s and other reference sites as
I don’t know
about you guys, but if I had a very large amount of money, I might
consider trying to buy their technology. There are a lot of times I
wish the major search engines could do some of the stuff that they
are. Ask.com (askjeeves) does some of this, but you cant get lists
from Ask, its usually websites that come up that require you to sift
through several pages to find your answers.
For all of you
content mongers out there, this sort of technology could feed some
very interesting sites.
I would love to
see some sort of API.
Jarrod Hunt is the CEO of
http://www.textlinkbrokers.com. Please do place an active link when
publishing this article.
Keywords and misspellings: one-look.com
reverse dictionary dictionaries dictionery