Exploding word associations
April 25, 2007 8:45 PM   Subscribe

Visuwords - an online graphical dictionary that uses Princeton's WordNet. Input a word and watch the branching associations.
posted by Burhanistan (19 comments total)

This post was deleted for the following reason: Poster's Request -- frimble

i just entered "george w bush" and it's a total blank
posted by pyramid termite at 9:24 PM on April 25, 2007

Oddly, no entry for eponysterical.

this is good, though.
posted by davejay at 9:24 PM on April 25, 2007

After a bit more interaction, as much as I liked this, I wish it went into the etymology of the words instead of just the definitions.
posted by davejay at 9:27 PM on April 25, 2007

After two attempts I got bored and started to look up rude words, like bottom, which was associated with fanny.

What a wonderful age of understanding we live in huh.
posted by Samuel Farrow at 10:04 PM on April 25, 2007

I wish it went into the etymology Amen to that. I think the funky flash interface could have been replaced with a list.
posted by mattoxic at 10:16 PM on April 25, 2007

I looked up the word 'set' which reportedly has the most number of meanings in the English language, and the result was pleasantly complicated.
posted by dhruva at 10:18 PM on April 25, 2007

It appears to be an updated version of the now classic "Visual Thesaurus" and based on the same dataset.
posted by bhouston at 10:22 PM on April 25, 2007

It's a graphical interface for WordNet, and not intended to be any of those things being complained about. The researchers who develop WordNet have very sophisticated tools that are far too complicated for most people to use. This makes WordNet's groundbreaking painstakingly created insights into lexical semantics available to the public.
posted by reflection at 10:39 PM on April 25, 2007

How's this for an opinion: It's pretty, but it sucks.
posted by chuckdarwin at 3:54 AM on April 26, 2007

Pretty interesting interface - probably an especially helpful tool for non-native English speakers. I emailed a link to my German-speaking girlfriend, who's studying translation, Italian and English.
posted by syzygy at 4:19 AM on April 26, 2007

Works best with verbs.
posted by humblepigeon at 4:48 AM on April 26, 2007

Love it, thanks Burhanistan. Enjoyable data visualisation is life changing in many ways, some subtle, some simple. I like seeing a word connections grouped in a cloud. Yes, etymologies would be a nice improvement. At the bottom of the page it says "developed by Paul R. Dunn".

However, according to his, maneri3102, delicious entry: "Visuwords Dictionary and Thesaurus - Look up words to find their meanings and associations with other words and concepts. This is my latest project still in development. More to follow shortly."
posted by nickyskye at 5:35 AM on April 26, 2007

I think I did it wrong.
posted by Uther Bentrazor at 5:50 AM on April 26, 2007

A funny thing happened when I clicked the link; the word that came up on display was orthogonality.
posted by Mister_A at 6:33 AM on April 26, 2007

I played with it for a little while, but within minutes I was ignoring the words themselves and instead played newton's cradle by jiggling the balls around and watching them interact with each other in elastic fashion. Maybe I'm a little too immature for the internets?
posted by talitha_kumi at 6:48 AM on April 26, 2007

No one is too immature for the intertoobz, poopy-head!
posted by Mister_A at 6:54 AM on April 26, 2007

This is cool as shit. Etymology would be nice, sure, but this is pretty amazing just the same. Thanks!
posted by Pecinpah at 7:51 AM on April 26, 2007

I fall into the "cool as shit" crowd, meself. I don't care about the absence of etymology - this is my new favorite website.
I agree, it is probably most useful to non-native speakers learning the language.
posted by msali at 8:18 AM on April 26, 2007

I think this is pretty cool. I may show this to my 4th and 5th grade remedial reading students this afternoon, plugging in their vocabulary words for the week and discussing the connections. I have several English language learners who would probably enjoy this.
posted by Emredi at 8:55 AM on April 26, 2007

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