Search tips for advanced searching

There are two types of search functions implemented on TamilNet Search.

  1. The first option is called 'Character Sequence' search.
    This searches through all the articles in TamilNet to find the sequence of characters that were typed. This could be a single word or a set of multiple words. This search function will be the default when searching for single words.

    For example:
    If you search for a single word like 'east', it will also match words like 'least', 'eastern' etc. which contain the character sequence 'east'.

    If you search for a sentence or phrase or multiple words like 'land develop', then it would match the exact phrase and also any prefixes and suffixes that can be found like 'land development', 'land developing', 'island development' etc.

    This type of search is more useful when you are searching for articles that contains a particular word or a certain phrase.
  2. The second option is called 'Words' search.
    This option has many useful advanced features, the most important of which is searching for multiple words occuring anywhere in an article. This search function will be the default when searching for multiple words.

    For example:
    If you wish to find articles that contain the words 'colombo' and 'trader', using the first option might not yield many results. If you typed in 'colombo trader' in the search field, the first option will only fetch articles that contain the sequence of characters 'colombo trader' or maybe 'colombo traders' etc.

    The second option of 'Words' search on the other hand will fetch all articles that contain the word 'colombo' and also contain the word 'trader' mentioned anywhere in the article.

    Apart from the default multiple word search, this search option has other features which can be used to refine the search to get more accurate results.

    Using the '-' (minus) character before search words will exclude that word from the search results.
    For example: If you search for 'journalist -jaffna', this will find all articles that contains the word 'journalist' but does not contain 'jaffna'.

    Appending the '*' (asterix/wild card) character with words will match all words that contain the search word as a prefix.
    For example: If you search for 'media tele*', it will find all articles which contains the word 'media' and also contains words that start with 'tele' like 'television', 'telephone' etc.

    Combining these symbols in searches can be very powerful and result in accurate results.

Automated place-name recognition:

The TamilNet Search function has an automated place-name recognition implemented in the Search function. This is due to the reason that many place-names in Sri Lanka have variations in the way in which they are spelled. Therefore, when the search function recognizes a place-name, it automatically searches for all variations of that place-name and produces the result.

For example:
The place 'moothoor' has often been spelled as 'mutur', 'muthur', 'muttur' etc. Therefore, a search is performed for any of the words 'moothoor', mutur', 'muthur' or 'muttur', will make the search look through all articles for all the four variants of this place-name, thereby producing results which contains any of these four word variants.

NOTE: This automated place-name recognition will work only when the place-name is typed alone as a single word. Multiple words will deactivate the recognition.
For example, a search for 'amparai' will activate the place-name recognition and produce results of various variations of the place name 'amparai', but a search for 'amparai incident' will deactivate the place-name recognition due to multiple words in the search.


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