We’ve already covered how to write definitions, the communication of the concept of an instance we see or think about. We’ve covered some pretty basic rules about definition types and what should and shouldn’t be in them. Now we have to cover a few rules about how to express the term itself.
Why do we have to set rules? Because many people who create glossaries are just plain sloppy (they probably don’t even make their beds in the morning). They’ll have plural forms. Capitalization where none is called for. Unconventional spelling. And – most egregiously – they’ll also include acronyms as terms themselves. Ugh.
In order for modern electronic glossaries and dictionaries to work with Natural Language Processing engines, the following rules for entering the term itself should be followed.
If you aren’t aware, nouns and verbs have a base form and additional forms. Here they are:
|Base Form||Other Forms|
|Singular Non-Possessive Noun||Possessive|
|Simple Present Verb||Past|
Here are the rules for both nouns and verbs.
Most nouns are pluralized by adding an –s to then end of a word.
There are seven other pluralization rules that depend on what letter(s) the noun ends in.
Examples: cat – cats; car – cars; team – teams
Examples: church – churches; tax – taxes; pass – passes
Examples: elf – elves; loaf – loaves; thief – thieves
Examples: toy – toys; boy – boys; employ – employs
Examples: video – videos; studio – studios; zoo – zoos
Examples: baby – babies; country – countries; spy – spies
Examples: hero – heroes; potato – potatoes; volcano – volcanoes
Irregular nouns follow none of these rules.
When adding verbs to the dictionary, ensure that you follow these rules:
Most verbs are conjugated by following these rules.
This rule excludes verbs ending in –ee. Verbs ending in –ee follow normal convention of adding –ing to the end.
Irregular verbs, however, do not follow the rules for past and past participle conjugation. Verbs are irregular when their past tense and past participle forms are different from one another and those forms are not formed by adding -ed, -d, or -t to the base form.
Verbs are considered to be irregular when their past tense and past participle forms are different from one another and those forms are not formed by adding -ed, -d, or -t to the base form. Here are a few irregular verbs.
There are great resources to learn more about irregular verbs online. One of them is here: http://speakspeak.com/resources/vocabulary-general-english/english-irregular-verbs
The next step to writing advanced definitions is to add semantic relationships to the definiton.