Monday, July 11, 2005

What’s A Synonym For ‘Buzzkill’?

NEW YORK (Wireless Flash - FlashNews) – Kids these days may have the advantage of technology in the classroom, but the use of the online Visual Thesaurus may leave them pining for a plain old paperback version.

Why? Well, if you type in the word “poop,” you’ll find there’s definitely something missing: synonyms for dirty words.

Marc Tinkler, Chief Technology Officer at Thinkmap, Inc. – the company that created the Visual Thesaurus – says, “I know, I know. That’s the first thing people look for.”

Tinkler – yes, that’s his real name – says he worked very hard to create what he calls “a Puritanical Mode” that blocks all avenues to naughty words.

As he puts it, “We had to sit around and think, ‘What other bad words do we know?’ and come up with very creative ways of filtering.”

Tinkler insists that the Visual Thesaurus is still fun for the one million plus students currently using it. For a hoot, he suggests listening to words pronounced in a British accent or typing in a name like George W. Bush. He jokes, “You’ll get things like ‘Dubya.’”

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