Tebow, Tebowed, Tebowing: Spelling Variants and Associations

The Wall Street Journal recently ran a piece on the countless ways to spell Tebow. The article reports on spelling variants such as “Teebow”, “Teeeebow”, and “Teeebowww”, all of which are easily recognized using regular expressions. Nevertheless, this is a nice example of how the productivity of the language use of Internet users may pose challenges for keyword-based systems.

Ethersource does not use regular expressions to handle this type of variation. On the contrary, it learns terminological variation continuously by observing language use. This means that Ethersource will not only find the type of variants reported in the WSJ article, but also more unpredictable variants, such as:

  • Twbow
  • Tibow
  • Tebox
  • Teboq
  • Tewbow
  • Teobow
  • Teabow
  • Teblow
  • Tebowm

In addition to finding out the spelling variants of a given term, Ethersource can also find associated terms that help frame its meaning.  That is, help answering the question “What is a Tebow?”.

According to our ever-changing, live data, the top terms associated with Tebow include:

  • Broncos
  • Tim
  • Denver
  • quarterback
  • Tebowing
  • Tebowed

From this, we (manually) infer that Tebow is a person whose first name is Tim, that he is a quarterback, and that he is playing for the Denver Broncos. The final two terms in the list puzzled us a bit. This is what we learned. Tebowing refers to the act of getting down on one knee and starting to pray, even if everyone around you is doing something completely different. Tebowed, on the other hand, has little to do with spirits as it denotes being run over while playing American football. Thus, we add spirituality and toughness to our notion of Tebow.

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