Writing Tools #2

Good morning, boys and girls. As I promised yesterday, when offering Wordle, here’s a super tool for your writing–and from Princeton. Yes that Princeton.

From the website: WordNet superficially resembles a thesaurus, in that it groups words together based on their meanings. However, there are some important distinctions. First, WordNet interlinks not just word forms—strings of letters—but specific senses of words. As a result, words that are found in close proximity to one another in the network are semantically disambiguated. Second, WordNet labels the semantic relations among words, whereas the groupings of words in a thesaurus does not follow any explicit pattern other than meaning similarity.

That may be more information than you need, especially the “semantically disambiguated” part; however, this digital tool is so much more useful than thumbing through Rogers Thesaurus, although I have a much-thumbed copy…..however, I just realized, after looking for Rogers, that I’ve used WordNet so long, I don’t know which shelf hides Roger.

WordNet is right on the taskbar. I can pull it up, enter a word, and it pulls up not only synonyms, but noun, verb, adjective, and adverb synonyms. All with a click.

If you go to the site, you can download the program.

I like it so much, in fact, that recently I donated to a recent fundraiser to extend the language and uses of WordNet. The premium was choosing a word to sponsor. I choose dwindle.

.

What have I done…

wordleby inserting myself into NaBloPoMo Blogroll with a commitment to blog every day in November. Not interested in writing a Na…whatever it is that writes a novel in a month, I have jumped into blogging every day for a month. Along with finishing The Memoir.

I didn’t even know about NaBloPoMO until this morning, November 1st, when I opened the page to pass on information on two writing tools I’ve come to love and use. And then I saw it and then I signed up. Ya gotta wonder.

So, in order to get at least two days of blogging planned, I’ll do them one at a time.

Wordle:

From the site: “Wordle is a toy for generating “word clouds” from text you provide. The clouds give greater prominence to words that appear more frequently in the source text. You can tweak your clouds with different fonts, layouts, and color schemes. The images you create with Wordle are yours to use however you like. You can print them out, or save them to your own desktop to use as you wish.”  http://www.wordle.net/

The above image is a cloud from this particular blog post. Using “word” often I understand, but did I really write “really” often enough to make it stand out? 

You will need Java, so if you don’t have it, get it first.

Here’s what you do. Go to the site. Click on Create. Paste in a bunch of text, I use as much as thirty or forty pages at a time, click Go.

Wordle creates this most amazing word cloud of the most used words, the really really most used jump out at you, and you can then paste that word into find and rewrite all the sentences in your manuscript that contain that too-used word. Fabulous.

I found “home” a lot. That’s reasonable since the memoir is about finding where I fit. Another word, came, was not as useful. Nor was went or turned.  I won’t bore you with the list of words but you get the idea.

The cool thing is being able to SEE one sentence at a time and the sentences around it and revise. It’s helped to focus on one sentence rather than a paragraph with meaning.

Test it out. You’ll be glad you did.

Tomorrow, and hopefully tomorrow I’ll remember I committed to this, a tool from Princeton.

.

.