Posts Tagged ‘narwhal’

Another way to generate text #4: “dictionary clusters”

Thursday, May 31st, 2012

First, we pick a random word from the dictionary. Let’s go with “narwhal.”

NAR·WHAL: noun. a small arctic whale, Monodon monoceros, the male of which has a long, spirally twisted tusk extending forward from the upper jaw. Also, nar·wal, nar·whale. Origin: 1650–60;  < Scandinavian;  compare Norwegian, Swedish, Danish nar (h) val, reshaped from Old Norse nāhvalr, equivalent to nār  corpse + hvalr whale1 ; allegedly so called because its skin resembles that of a human corpse

We now list all the unique words:

arctic, corpse, Danish, extending, forward, corpse, jaw, long, male, Monodon monoceros, Norwegian, resembles, Scandinavian, skin, small, spirally, Swedish, tusk, twisted, upper whale

… then look up each one. This does take some time, and generates a lot of text, but it’s also educational and (I think) fun:

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