m. c. de marco: To invent new life and new civilizations...

Desaurus

Via Daring Fireball: Ironic Sans presents a beta of Thsrs, the thesaurus of synonyms shorter than your original word.

I chose my title over the unpronounceably disemvowelled string thsrs because “desaurus” implies dumbing down both through the “de-“ as prefix and the dialect allophone /d/ replacing both voiced and unvoiced /th/. Unlike a real thesaurus, the desaurus takes your long, well-chosen word and replaces it with a shorter, less appropriate one—in order, I imagined, to dumb down your low-class characters’ dialogue or even your company correspondence with a pointy-haired boss of poor reading comprehension skill.

Only afterwards did I read the blog entry explaining that the purpose of the thsrs really is to shorten words for the purely orthographic purpose of fitting them into Twitter, text messages, and other character-counted form fields.

I still think my imagined uses are more common—who’s going to look up synonyms at a web site when they could just disemvowel?—although Twitter is more interesting as a Procrustean shaper of language.