Dr. TweetDreams pulls together elements new and old, including symbolic meanings from a 100-year-old dream dictionary and any and all tweets containing the phrase "had a dream." "I finally got to use all my cool natural language code," Zarrella told us last night. "I'm using a part-of-speech tagger, a wordstemmer, and Princeton's WordNet to generate a list of related word stems which are then matched against a dream dictionary."
"This one was actually my girlfriend's idea," said Zarrella. "I'm not one for dream analysis, really. But it seemed like a fun thing to build, and I know there are lots of people on Twitter who'll like it... Also, eventually, I'll be able to match people who've had similar dreams."
Some of the analyses we tried out were pretty clear-cut:
Other tweets produced hilarious, convoluted or just plain strange results. One of the particularly interesting things about taking definitions from a 100-year-old dream dictionary is the charmingly antiquated social mores; woe to the married woman who dreams of hugging a man other than her husband! And check out the wonderful fortune in store for this lucky young lady:
Ah, how we long for the golden days of yesteryear, when marriage was a woman's best occupation! There were also a few misfires in terms of vocabulary; for example, a hundred years ago, a plane was a carpenter's tool, not a mode of transportation. Nevertheless, we found these idiosyncrasies charming.