In honor of my turning level 5, I'd like to share with my fellow noders every thing.

That's right. Every thing.

How to deliver on this? Know what a hypernym is? It's a category of noun relationship, specifically one where the described noun is superordinate, or superclass, to another noun. For example, animal is a hypernym of mammal. Mammal is a hypernym of dog. Dog is a hypernym of schnauser. Its antonym, if you're curious, is hyponym.

Ordinary people don't really need these kinds of words, but computational linguists do, especially as they try and develop computer models for an entire language.

Tracing hypernyms up the noun chain as far as you can gets you to the most abstract noun concepts that there are. When the lexicographers at Princeton developed their awe-inspiring WordNet database, they identified ten base nouns. Every thing you can think of, from clothespins to colors, dogs to denoument, everything on everything2, is contained by these ten words.

  1. entity (something having concrete existence; living or nonliving)
  2. location (a point or extent in space)
  3. abstraction (a concept formed by extracting common features from examples)
  4. group, grouping (any number of entities (members) considered as a unit)
  5. possession (anything owned or possessed)
  6. state (the way something is with respect to its main attributes; ...)
  7. psychological feature (a feature of the mental life of a living organism)
  8. act, human action, human activity (something that people do or cause to happen)
  9. event (something that happens at a given place and time)
  10. phenomenon (any state or process known through the senses rather than by intuition or reasoning)
That's them. Ten little indians, ten little piggies. One for each digit, in both senses of the word. Write one on each finger and use the appropriate finger to point at things in your life. Find a really tiny pen and inscribe then on two blank ten-sided dice. Roll them and write about how they connect. Learn them in every language and you have a head start in your world travels.

The list becomes a little dazzling when you open it up just one notch more.

  1. entity
  2. location — (a point or extent in space)
    • home — (the country or state or city where you live; ...)
    • earth — (the abode of mortals (as contrasted with heaven or hell))
    • imaginary place — (a place said to exist in religious or fictional writings)
    • line — (a spatial location defined by a real or imaginary unidimensional extent)
    • point — (the precise location of something; "she walked to a point where she could survey the whole street")
    • region, part — (the extended spatial location of something; "the farming regions of France"; ...)
    • region — (a large indefinite location on the surface of the earth)
    • whereabouts — (the general location where something is; ...)
    • pass, mountain pass, notch — (the location in mountains that is lower than the surrounding peaks)
  3. abstraction — (a concept formed by extracting common features from examples)
    • time — (the continuum of experience in which events pass from the future through the present to the past)
    • space — (the unlimited 3-dimensional expanse in which everything is located)
    • attribute — (an abstraction belonging to or characteristic of an entity)
    • relation — (an abstraction belonging to or characteristic of two entities or parts together)
    • measure, quantity, amount, quantum — (how much there is of anything)
    • set — (an abstract collection of numbers or symbols; "the set of prime numbers is infinite")
  4. group, grouping — (any number of entities (members) considered as a unit)
  5. possession — (anything owned or possessed)
  6. state — (the way something is with respect to its main attributes; ...)
  7. psychological feature — (a feature of the mental life of a living organism)
    • cognition, knowledge — (the psychological result of perception and learning and reasoning)
    • motivation, motive, need — (the psychological feature that arouses an organism to action)
    • feeling — (the psychological feature of experiencing affective and emotional states)
  8. act, human action, human activity — (something that people do or cause to happen)
  9. event — (something that happens at a given place and time)
    • might-have-been — (an event that could have occurred but never did)
    • nonevent — (an anticipated event that turns out to be far less significant than was expected)
    • happening, occurrence, natural event — (an event that happens)
    • social event — (an event characteristic of persons forming groups)
    • miracle — (a marvellous event manifesting a supernatural act of God)
    • Fall — (the lapse of mankind into sinfulness because of the sin of Adam and Eve; ...)
  10. phenomenon — (any state or process known through the senses rather than by intuition or reasoning)

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