Single/Multiple Items, Keywords, Phrases, Wildcard Patterns (*)

It isn't required that you ask a question. Any search item can be entered on the query line. The simplest search would be to enter one keyword, like "bear". All matches containing just the word bear (subject to morpheme processing, if turned on) will be retrieved.

Equivalences (from the thesaurus) for query words may also be searched for, in one of two ways. First, equivalences can be turned on for all terms by setting keepeqvs (Vortex/tsql) or Synonyms (Search Appliance) on. Second, equivalences can be toggled (reverse the keepeqvs setting) for individual query terms with the tilde ("~") operator.

For example, with default settings (keepeqvs off), the query "~bear arms" will find all equivalences to the word "bear" - i.e. "cub", "endure", "carry" etc. - but only the single term "arms". If we turned keepeqvs on, the exact same query would find only the single word "bear" (tilde now toggles equivs to off) but all equivalences for the word "arms".

To look for a specific set of equivalences for a keyword - instead of equivalences derived from the thesaurus - enter them in parentheses, separated by commas (with no spaces). E.g. "(bolt,fastener,screw)" would find any of "bolt", "fastener", or "screw". Note that wildcards (see below) are disabled in parenthetical lists, however morpheme processing is still done if turned on.

Entering more than one keyword on the query line will be interpreted as 2 search items, as delimited by a space character, unless it is a phrase known by the Equivalence File. To link any words together as a phrase you need only put it in quotes. For example, "Alabama Representative" must find those two words in that sequence, as a phrase. Such a phrase can be entered as a new entry in the Equivalence File, and specific names of Alabama Representatives could be associated as a set. Thereafter the quotes would not be required on the query line for it to be processed as a single search item.

A wildcard `*' can be used along with an English word to extend a rooted pattern by up to 80 characters per asterisk `*'. For example, "Pres*Bush" would locate "President George Bush". More than one asterisk `*' may be used. Such an item which includes an asterisk is matched by a special operator which is part of SPM, the Single Pattern Matcher which looks for single items.

A wildcarded item can be searched for in intersection with other search items as well. For example: "Pres*Reagan campaign" would locate the sentence "President Ronald Reagan won the election in November."

A wildcard operator `*' means just that: "anything" before of after the string to which it is rooted. If you occasionally find that the morpheme processing rules for a given word are not treating it correctly, you can substitute a wildcard to locate the word in a different way. Even though "property" will also find "properties" through morpheme processing, "prop*" will find the word "properties" for different reasons. "prop*" will also find "proper" and "propane", which morpheme processing would intelligently exclude.

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