Do You Have A Case of Synonym Fever?

When constructing keywording vocabularies it's easy to be overcome with Synonym Fever and make them over-elaborate.

One of the regular mistakes made when vocabularies are being built is to think that every word in the dictionary and thesaurus needs to be included. We see it sometimes in vocabularies sent to us where outlandish words are used simply because they constitute synonyms.

"Creature" is a synonym for "animal", but it is unlikely someone would bother using it. Likewise would you use the word "human" rather than "man", "woman" or "person"?

Apart from the fact that making a vocabulary too big wastes time and money in the construction phase, there are other drawbacks in throwing the net too wide.

The bigger the vocabulary the slower the process of selecting the necessary keywords when entering them. Meanwhile there could be problems with including the many words with double meanings, such as "pen" used for writing and the "pen" used to hold farm animals.

When it somes to deciding where to draw the line, it's best to take a common sense approach and ask if you think the sort of person searching for your images or videos would use the words you are including. Latin names would not be suitable for a library being searched by teenagers, but could be well worth including if university academics were the main researchers.

Whatever you do, avoid getting catchign Synonym Fever and thinking that adding more and more words is always a good idea.