Rules of Precedence and Syntax

A root word and its equivalences are separated by commas. The comma (,) signifies addition of an item to a set.

Where an entry exists in a User Equivalence File and also in the Main Equivalence File, equivalences found for all entries of that root word are combined into one set. Example:

     constellation,celestial heavens

Phrases are acceptable as roots or as equivalences, and locate matches as separated by a hyphen or any kind of white space, provided the separation is only one character long. Use spaces rather than hyphens to enter normally hyphenated words.

When "constellation" is entered as a search item on the Query Line, "celestial heavens" from the User Equivalence File will be added to the existing set, making the complete concept set:

     constellation
     celestial heavens
     configuration of stars
     galaxy
     group of stars
     nebula
     star
     zodiac

Equivs can be removed from a larger set by preceding them with a tilde (~) in the User Equivalence File. For example:

     constellation~nebula~zodiac,big dipper

This entry for constellation reads "remove `nebula', remove `zodiac', and add `big dipper"'; making the complete concept set:

     constellation
     big dipper
     configuration of stars
     galaxy
     group of stars
     star

A whole equivalence set can be substituted for what is in the Main Equivalence File with a User Equivalence File entry which uses the equal sign (=) preceding the favored list of equivalences. For example:

     constellation=constellation,galaxy,nebula,star

This entry for constellation replaces any entries in the Main Equivalence File, making the complete concept set:

     constellation
     galaxy
     nebula
     star

Don't forget to include the root word following the equal sign (=), as the substitution is literal for the whole set, and the root word must be repeated to be included.

To permanently swap one word for another, you could make one entry only, having the effect of assignment. For example:

     constellation=andromeda

Subsequent searches for "constellation" where concept searching is invoked will swap "constellation" for "andromeda".

To permanently disable concept expansion for an item, use the equal sign (=) to replace a keyword with itself only. For example:

     constellation=constellation

Any equivalences from the Main Equivalence File would be ignored, as the set is replaced by this entry.

The above rules for substitution apply where what immediately follows the equal sign (=) is alphanumeric. In the special case where the 1st character following the equal operator (=) is not alphanumeric, the entirety of what follows on the line is grabbed as a unit, rather than as a list of equivalences. Example:

     lots=#>100

The root word "lots" will be replaced on the Query Line by the NPM expression which follows the equal sign "#>100", therefore finding numeric quantities greater than 100, rather than finding English occurrences of the word "lots".

All root and equivalence entries are case insensitive. If you need case sensitivity you must so specify with REX syntax on the Query Line. REX, NPM, XPM, and * (Wildcard) expressions cannot be entered as equivalences, as equivalences are sent directly to PPM which processes lists of English words.

The only way an English word may be linked in this way to a special expression is through the use of substitution. In this case the expression which follows an equal sign (=) will be substituted for the root word. Example:

     bush=/\RBush

The root word "bush" will be replaced on the Query Line by the REX expression which follows the equal sign "/\RBush"; therefore finding only the proper name "Bush", rather than the common noun "bush" along with any of its equivalences ("jungle", "shrub", "hedge") as listed in the Main Equivalence File.


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