A2Z: Thesis Buzzkiller
Marina, my thesis advisor, identified a handful of words—"buzzwords"—to avoid in our thesis documentation. I'm a busy, busy man; I don't have time to keep track of that kind of thing. So I decided to build an automated tool to handle the task. Here's the result: the ITP Thesis Buzzkiller! It replaces any inappropriately vague, quotidian, or milquetoast words with more thrilling—and grammatically correct—alternatives.
In the PLASTER of creating the PAST, I also hope to show the assumptions underlying even the way we formalize language (or any other inherently non-formal phenomenon), and the limitations of such formalizations. The WRENCH that runs through the project is this: Can a PAST create a new GATHERING of a formal MALE? Can a PAST be artistic? Can it be CRYPTOFASCIST?
Here's how it works. Each "buzzword" is associated with a grammatical category: noun, transitive verb, adjective, etc. A list of replacement words is similarly tagged. A regular expression replaces any buzzwords in the source text with a replacement word of the same grammatical category. (Some additional massaging is done to perform normalization of indefinite articles before nouns.) The resulting text is printed to your screen for maximum creativity.
Here's the Python source code for the command-line version.
Thanks to the ITP student list for helping me to identify additional buzzwords!