A new twist in using technology to take shortcuts lands in universities, where students are using a thesaurus app to procure changes on essays copy-and-pasted from the internet. Their belief is that it no longer falls under plagiarism after they make a few changes. However, the results are often hilarious. This interesting topic was found on The Guardian in their article, “Rogeting: why ‘sinister buttocks’ are creeping into students’ essays.”

One such example is “sinister buttocks” taken from the original text of “left behind.” Though it makes a great joke, it is important to remember that synonyms need to be handled with care according to the context, whether in a student essay or in a thesaurus or in an indexing rule base. Most of all — edit, edit and edit again. Does it read right? Are you sure the terminology infers what you wanted the message to be?

Melody K. Smith

Sponsored by Access Innovations, the world leader in thesaurus, ontology, and taxonomy creation and metadata application.