Search engine tackles writers block
- Sep 07, 2004
Developed at Sheffield Hallam University as a spin-off from a computational linguistics project, the "Phrase Finder":http://www.phrasefinder.co.uk uses an intelligent search function to draw upon more than 12,000 entries.
An annual single user subscription to Phrase Thesaurus costs £28, while a multi-user site license is £70. Existing clients include the BBC, Channel 4, Conde Nast, ITV, McGraw Hill, Newsweek, The Daily Express, The Financial Times and The Independent.
The firm, which was established in November 2001 and employs two people, says the service offers the largest database of English phrases available on the internet. The database was transferred from the University to a commercial server in 2001.
When a user enters a word, the database returns a list of related phrases or, optionally, phrases containing that key word. For example, “fish” would bring up the related “cheap skate”, “red herring”, and “green around the gills”.
Users can also search for phrases containing two of their chosen key words.
Alexandra Martin, marketing manager at the Phrase Thesaurus, said: “With The Phrase Thesaurus, writers can rest assured that a source of additional inspiration and witticism is always at hand.”
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