Search for “thesaurus” at thesaurus.com

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If you search for thesaurus in the thesaurus, would that make the thesaurus explode in a self-referential infinite loop? Try this potentially dangerous search and the thesaurus will calmly return this result:

Main Entry: thesaurus  [thi-sawr-uhs]

Part of Speech: noun

Definition: dictionary of synonyms and antonyms

Synonyms: glossary, language reference book, lexicon, onomasticon, reference book, sourcebook, storehouse of words, terminology, treasury of words, vocabulary, word list

The result is disappointing on two levels. One, I was hoping the site would freeze or choke or just plain freak out. Two, since it gave a calm result instead of synonym armageddon, I was hoping for something fun in the result. Perhaps some sort of bragging. If the thesaurus is giving synonyms for itself, should it slip in something like, awesome, brilliant, genius? If I was the thesaurus, I’d put those words in about me, because the thesaurus is awesome, brilliant, and genius.

It’s ok, thesaurus. Your list of synonyms quietly say humble.

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Lisa Schryver
Lisa Schryver
9 years ago

1. If the site froze when you searched for “thesaurus,” then the people in their IT department would be all up in arms because they would receive an alert letting them know that someone received an error EVERY SINGLE TIME it happened. IT people don’t like that. (I should know.)
2. If it gave words like “awesome or genius” as part of the synonyms for thesaurus, then it would be doing the public a disservice by feeding them incorrect information, now wouldn’t it?

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