Thursday, July 16, 2015

FOLIO Tool 9: TRIPES: Making Sentences Evolve.

Tool 9: TRIPES - Making Sentences Evolve.

The six TRIPES options make changes to the written word (usually those words are in sentence form). The six TRIPES options make random changes to a sentence so that the sentence evolves and the new sentence can be interpreted (or re-interpreted) to generate new meanings/ideas etc.As an example of the evolution that can occur to a sentence, the sentence:
I read a book a week.

could evolve - by the use of the TRIPES options in combination -  to a new sentence such as:

I will write a review of every book I read.

and then on to:

(an off-topic sentence) I will discover some cool subterranean places to explore.

T: Threeword Option: Convert to Three Letters

With the T - Threeword - option I convert the written information (that information could be a word, a phrase or a sentence) to just three words that I think roughly mean the same thing.

Examples of Threeword Option:

The sentence:

There are books that are very valuable.

Converts to: 

Expensive books exist.

The sentence:

I polish up on music theory.

converts to:

Boost music knowledge.

Converting the words to one syllable

Sometimes I also like to convert the words to words of just one syllable. Where:

Boost music knowledge.

converts to:

Boost tune nous. 

Why convert to one syllable? I find the ambiguity of three words of one syllable is more open to interpretation. For example, "boost tune nous" could suggest the idea, "Boost your knowledge of existing tunes." (I've made it my goal to hear every Beatles' track recorded.)

R: Replace Option: Replace a Word

With the R - Replace- option,  I replace a word in a sentence with another word. I can intuitively replace the existing word, or I can replace it with a word randomly generated to see if any ideas or new thoughts are suggested by the resulting new sentence. (A quick and easy way to replace a word systematically is to simply replace it with a rhyming word. If the word to be replaced is of more than one syllable then it's easy to replace it with a word of one syllable and find a rhyme for that word instead.)

Example of Replace Option:

If one of my sentences generated during the reading books focus is:

Get my kids signed up for the library.

then a good intuitive replacement could be swimming for library:

Get my kids signed up for the swimming.

If I opt to replace a word with a random word, then rids could replace kids:

Get my rids signed up for the library.

What could that mean? Maybe books I'm getting rid of - to boot sales and church fetes - I could donate to the library instead?

I: Interpret Option


With the I - Interpret - option, I interpret the information, or think of ways that I could re-interpret the information.

For example, if the topic was reading books then I could interpret that in a few ways: I could interpret it as the action of reading books. or I could think it refers to books that can be read, or I could even interpret it as referring to books that are from Reading.There are obviously endless ways to interpret the written word. I try to do three or four interpretations of words/phrases/sentences, but sometimes I like to go a little crazy and name as many as I can and for something like reading books I could end up with the surreal image of something like a living book sitting in an armchair having a read.

Examples of Interpret Option:

Sentence: Music theory:
Interpretation 1: The facts that help you to understand music.
Interpretation 2: My theory that The Beatles unconsciously used the Hokey Cokey as a template for the song Yellow Submarine.

Sentence: Words on paper:
Interpretation 1: Words written in books.
Interpretation 2: Watermarks.
Interpretation 3: Words written on newspapers.

Sentence: You can drift off to another world when you read:
Interpretation 1: Reading fiction can make you imagine yourself in another world. That's good!
Interpretation 2: You can drift off and daydream when you're reading non-fiction or studying. That's bad!

P: Parenthesise-The-Start Option

With the P - Parenthesise - option, I parenthesise a number of words at the start of the sentence and lift them out of the sentence and ask myself, "What could that mean?"

Examples of Parenthesise Option:

Sentence: I polish up on music theory.
Parenthesise (I polish up) on music theory.
Interpret: I polish up = What do I need to review?

Sentence: People queuing at the middle of the night to buy books. 
Parenthesise: (People queuing) at the middle of the night to buy books.
Interpret: The phenomenon of people having to wait to collect something or buy something.

Sentence: You can drift off to another world when reading.
Parenthesise: (You can drift off to another world when) reading
Interpret: There are other things that can make you drift off? What are they?
Further thoughts? Meditation. Sleep. 

Sentence: Learn to read Latin
Parenthesise: (Learn to read) Latin
Interpret: Learn to read
Further Thoughts: Can you learn to forget how to read? Could I learn to read in another language?

Sentence: Battles have accounts done by the fallen.
Parenthesise (Battles have accounts) done by the fallen.
Interpret: Battles have accounts.
Thoughts: What is the cost of a war? In terms of lives lost and financially? Which war was "most expensive"?

E: Expand Option

With the E - Expand - option I expand the words to make a proper sentence. How long is that sentence? I will usually (because I write on paper) aim to expand the information to fill about a line of an A4 pad. (That's about 8 to 10 words.) So reading books could expand to:

When you get a book and read it to gather information.

If the information was already a full sentence then I'll pick a word that can work as the first word of the sentence then rewrite the sentence. For example, with the sentence:

Books can make you think about your life.

the think(ing) can go at the front of the sentence and the rewrite that follows reads thus:

Thinking about your life can happen when you read books.

Examples of Expand Option:

Sentence: List mistakes I regret
Expansion: List the things I've done in my life I later regretted.

Sentence: The horror genre:
Expansion: The genre of writing that aims to scare the reader.

Sentence: Children's books are for sale.
Expansion: Books that appeal to children can be purchased. 

Sentence: You can study something only to find the information is obsolete.
Expansion: (Where "information" goes to the front of the sentence): Information can be obsolete once you've learned it.
Sentence: I read a book a week.
Expansion: I will sit down and read a different book every week. 

S: Synonym Replacement

With the S - Synonym - option, I replace one - or any number of - words in a sentence with a synonym. The subtle changes in meaning of the sentence after application of the Synonym option can lead the thinking in novel directions.

NB: I lean towards using words of one syllable or two, but it's okay if it's more.I am also more likely to change just nouns and verbs in the sentence because these are more likely to bring changes in meaning and they're easy to change.

For example, in the sentence: 

I polish up on music theory.

The word "polish" can be replaced with the word "learn", the word "up" can be replaced with "more", the word "music" can be replaced with the word "tune", and the word "theory" can be replaced with the word, "mechanics". Which gives:

I learn more on tune mechanics.

Which - as an idea - could suggest to me that I spend some time looking into the mechanics of existing songs - chord structures, etc - to improve my knowledge of music theory and my compositions.

More Examples of Synonym Replacement:

Sentence: Read about the famous satirists.
After synonym change: Search on the great comics.
Interpretation and thoughts. What could that mean? Maybe: "Do some research on Bob Hope or other famous comedians".  It could apply to the great paper comics. When did Spiderman first appear? What about Hulk? What is their history? Etc.

Sentence: Read a book a week.
After synonym change: Scan a novel each Monday.
Interpretation and thoughts. Scan first chapter of a different novel each week? I read mostly non-fiction. Fiction is a blind spot. Maybe I need to dip into fiction a bit more; I could read just the first chapters of books to see if I'd enjoy the book.

Sentence: People who read lots of books.
After synonym change: Folk who see masses of publications.
Interpretations and thoughts: That could be publishers, agents, bookshop workers etc.

All the TRIPES Options Used Together

In this example I'm using all the TRIPES options together, but I pick which tool to use next randomly. In this example, the sequence of the options I follow is: E, S, T, P, I, R. 

Reading books

E - Expand: Looking at books to get useful information from them.

S - Synonyms: Viewing the publications to get good facts from them.

T - Threeword: Utilising book facts

P - Parenthesis: Utilising books

I - Interpret: Using books in ways that are productive and useful to you.

So far I've stayed on-topic. Now to go off-topic:

Using books in ways that are productive and useful to you.

R - Replace: Using cooks in ways that are productive and useful to you.

If I treat that as an idea what would it suggest? Maybe it's time to try some new food!

Another Example of all the TRIPES Options Used Together:

This example starts with the sentence:

Find a way to project a book onto a wall.

The sequence I use here is: T, S, R, I, S, T, I.

Threeword: Walls display books.
Synonym: Walls have publications.
Replace: Wars have publications.
Interpret: Wars have diaries written by soldiers.
Synonym: Battles have accounts done by (the) fallen.
Threeword: (The) Fallen leave records.
Interpret: Dead people leave wills.