The Daily Synonym

A few days ago I created this rather slow animation of the word minimalist and its synonyms. As you can see, the animation isn’t about minimalism at all, it’s about shaping each letter as random as possible by using random values for quite a few CSS properties. While I was looking for synonyms of the word minimalist I noticed that synonyms are more random than I initially thought. For instance, both modest and artist are synonyms of minimalist. And yes, if I search for synonyms for modest, the results will be completely different than when I do a search for artist.

I created a website that will look for a synonym of yesterday’s word, every day at 13:37 CET. It started with the word random, which was synonymised to haphazard. According to the Big Huge Thesaurus haphazard can be synonymised to hit-or-miss, slapdash, slipshod, sloppy, careless, random, or haphazardly. Depending on which word the random algorithm chose next, this could have gone in completely different directions. It went back to random, but it could also have chosen something like careless. I wonder how long it will take until it reaches the word orderly.

I’m pretty happy with the website. It looks focused, and I think it will look even better after a few months, years, decades. You can follow the progress via The Daily Synonym RSS Feed if that’s your thing. For the rest of you I created a Daily Synonym twitter account, which looks pretty good as well, if you ask me.

Some notes for the fundamentalist synonymists among you: for practical reasons I accept not only synonyms, but also similar terms, and even related terms. There would simply not be enough results if I didn’t. And if for whatever reason there are no results for a certain word — for instance, there are no synonyms for the word entity — it starts with random again.