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55 Ways to Have Fun With Google

55 Ways to Have Fun With Google

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Published by: mxaxnxo on Oct 28, 2009
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01/01/2013

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Google has a nice synonyms feature built right into the main search
engine. Using the “~” (tilde) operator preceding a word, you can search
not only for the word itself but similar words as well. These aren’t
always synonyms (in the sense that they are different words with the
same meaning); they are often simply related words with a different
meaning.
To find out all the synonyms Google stores for a word, you can enter
the word using the synonyms operator, but then exclude the word
afterwards using the minus operator. Like here for the word “home”:

~home -home

Since Google now can’t show you results with “home,” it must show
you synonyms of home only. Those will be rendered in bold. If you
want to find all the synonyms for a given term, you can continue
excluding the synonyms you find until you hit an end and no more
results are returned, like this:

~home -home -official -house -interior -homer -real-estate

That’s already interesting, but you can also abuse Google synonyms.
How? Just replace every word in a given story with Google’s first
synonym for that word! Of course, that’s a boring task to do manually
so I automated it. You can use the Synonym Storyteller tool
(www.55fun.com/synonym/) to copy and paste your story. Hit submit, and it
will be rendered in its synonyms for often surprising (and often, just
nonsense) results.
As an example, here is the beginning of a fairy tale by the Brother’s
Grimm. It’s called The Fisherman and His Wife and I will present a part of
it first in its original wording, and afterwards, in a version which has
been changed by the Synonym Storyteller (for the full tale, see
authorama.com/grimms-fairy-tales-10.html).

The Fisherman and His Wife: The Original

There was once a fisherman who lived with his wife in a pigsty, close
by the seaside. The fisherman used to go out all day long a-fishing; and
one day, as he sat on the shore with his rod, looking at the sparkling
waves and watching his line, all on a sudden his float was dragged away

55 Ways to Have Fun With Google

208

deep into the water: and in drawing it up he pulled out a great fish. But
the fish said, “Pray let me live! I am not a real fish; I am an enchanted
prince: put me in the water again, and let me go!” “Oh, ho!” said the
man, “you need not make so many words about the matter; I will have
nothing to do with a fish that can talk: so swim away, sir, as soon as
you please!” Then he put him back into the water, and the fish darted
straight down to the bottom, and left a long streak of blood behind
him on the wave.
When the fisherman went home to his wife in the pigsty, he told her
how he had caught a great fish, and how it had told him it was an
enchanted prince, and how, on hearing it speak, he had let it go again.
“Did not you ask it for anything?” said the wife, “we live very
wretchedly here, in this nasty dirty pigsty; do go back and tell the fish
we want a snug little cottage.”
The fisherman did not much like the business: however, he went to the
seashore; and when he came back there the water looked all yellow and
green. And he stood at the water’s edge, and said:
“O man of the sea!
Hearken to me!
My wife Ilsabill
Will have her own will,
And hath sent me to beg a boon of thee!”

The Fisherman and His Wife: The Synonym
Version

There was once a fisherman who lived with his daughter in a pigsty,
closing by the seaside. The fisherman for sale to british out all holiday
longest a-fishing; and 1 holiday, as he sat on the shor with his rodd,
looking at the sparkling waves and watching his liner, all on a sudden
his floating was dragged a way deep in to the water: and in cartoon it
ups he pulled out a greater fish. But the fish said, “Pray letting
millennium live! I am not a realplayer fish; I am an enchanted prince:
putting millennium in the river again, and letting millennium go!” “Oh,
ho!” said the manual, “you needing not build southern many dictionary
about the matter; I will having nothingness to does with a fish that
canned talk: southern pool a way, immigration, as soon as you please!”
Then he putting him back in to the river, and the fish darted straight

50. The Realplayer Fish, or: Telling a Story in Synonyms

209

down to the bottom, and leftist a longest streak of blood behind him
on the surf.
When the fisherman went official to his daughter in the pigsty, he told
her how he had caught a greater fish, and how it had told him it was an
enchanted prince, and how, on listening it learn, he had letting it british
again. “Did not you asking it for anything?” said the daughter, “we
radio cool wretchedly hear, in this nasty funny pigsty; does british back
and telling the fish we want a snug tiny cottage.’
The fisherman mpd not muchmusic like the business: however, he
went to the seashore; and when he come back there the river looked all
business and environment. And he stood at the water’s little thrill, and
said:

“O manual of the sea!
Hearken to me!
My daughter Ilsabill
Will having her build will,
And hath sent millennium to beg a boon of thee!’

55 Ways to Have Fun With Google

210

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