You know how a search engine can help you with little things like converting units (like: meters cubed to fluid acres) and get other little answers to things like the weather or internet speed or language translations just by typing in your question.

AI prompts like ChatGPT have the potential to really enhance this capability (when it’s not going rogue on you (you know: turning racist, expressing creepy affection, threatening to destroy humanity).

Anyway, I’ve thought of another little tool I’d like to have built into my search prompt, or available for a writing tool like Grammarly, or whatever that app that helps suggest ways to make your writing more terse (Hemingway?).

So I’m announcing my startup and looking for funding… not really (unless you want to.)

It’s called “Circumnavigar”. Which is a Spanish term to that means (unsurprisingly — to go around, or circumvent.

You use it to describe how you’re trying to describe something but can’t quite think of the right word or phrase.

Like if you want to ask for ask for “honey” at a tienda and you don’t know much Spanish and your wife is at home in bed with morning sickness. So you say “azucar” and “dulce” and “amarillo” and make buzzing sounds and pantomime getting stung, and the lady furrows her eyebrows and then laughs at you and then walks away nervously and talks rapidly to her friend who then slaps her forehead and says “Ah! … Miel” and you shake your head because you think that means flour, but then when she hands you a jar you thank her profusely and quickly pay and walk away in embarrassment.

(That was before online translator apps and smart phones.)

But how many times are you writing (or talking) and can’t quite think of the right word — not even in translation, just in normal speech. You know you know the word, you just can’t think of it. (Or maybe that’s just me.)

For example, while writing this post, I couldn’t think of the word “potential” and I had written: “have the capacity to really enhance this capability”.

I knew that wasn’t quite right, besides “capacity” and “capability” sounding wrong (and redundant) together.

Or while writing another article, I had the word [basher] in brackets, because I couldn’t think of the right word “detractor” I had tried opponent, critic, complainer, basher.

So I want an app that can help me find the right word when I can’t think of it. Not necessarily just synonyms, but if I can’t think of the word at all, I can “circumnavigar” around it and the language processor can help me get it right.

Look for an upcoming article where I talk about bashing something… and then coming around to it.

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