Saturday, March 19, 2005

Vocabulary conversion

Eroteme told me about this interesting Wordcount site. The site counts the top 86800 English words and lists them in frequency of use.

I've been thinking for some time that there could be a systematic means to convert the vocabulary in any article (or any written piece) to a simpler level. For example, an article with a word such as 'quotidian' (rated 71479 on Wordcount) would be converted: 'quotidian' would be defined (or replaced with a synonym) using only words from the top 10000 of Wordcount.

Thus 'quotidian' = on-a-daily-basis

('on' rated at 13
'a' rated at 5
'daily' rated at 1350
'basis' rated at 683)

The user could opt for the conversion to use only words from the first 10000 words from Wordcount, or 20000 etc.


Eroteme said...

John, not sure how that would help. Sometimes an article's worth is in its choice of words. If the purpose is to make it simpler (as you say) then converting words into links (based on the word count) so that someone can do a lookup (by clicking on the word) might help more. Automatic generation of links to meanings.

John said...

Maybe as an alternative there could be a vocabulary rating that takes a body of writing, lists the Wordcount rating for each word and works out a median average.