Data mining, text mining, natural language processing, and computational linguistics: some definitions


Every once in a while an innocuous technical term suddenly enters public discourse with a bizarrely negative connotation. I first noticed the phenomenon some years ago, when I saw a Republican politician accusing Hillary Clinton of "parsing." From the disgust with which he said it, he clearly seemed to feel that parsing was morally equivalent to puppy-drowning. It seemed quite odd to me, since I'd only ever heard the word "parse" used to refer to the computer analysis of sentence structures. The most recent word to suddenly find itself stigmatized by Republicans (yes, it does somehow always seem to be Republican politicians who are involved in this particular kind of linguistic bullshittery) is "encryption."

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