Truncation

One way to overcome the ‘stanislavski problem’ mentioned in the section on spelling is to use what is referred to as “truncation”. That is, the use of a symbol (most commonly the * sign) at the end of a word that has been cut sufficiently short to capture all the alternative endings, without being so short as to capture a lot of irrelevant words:

             Stanislavsk*     =          584

 As well as finding the three alternative spellings (Stanislavsky, Stanislavski, Stanislavskii), it will also find stanislavskian, stanislavski’s etc. Basically anything that starts with the letters you have typed before the * sign.

Where else might this be useful?

Well think of the word computer. Typing in comput* will find computer, computers, computing, computerisation etc.

But please ensure you have entered enough letters before the * sign to make the word appropriate to your topic. Just typing in comp* will find all the computing words we have just mentioned, but also company, companions, comparable etc.

Also, make sure you are asking to search for something physically possible. Advertising* does not really make sense as there are not too many alternatives that start a,d,v,e,r,t,i,s,i,n,g.

Now let's look at the wildcard.

Last modified: Monday, 17 August 2015, 11:36 AM