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<The Soundex Algorithm ⁄ >




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The Soundex algorithm is used to generate a short code based upon the pronunciation of an English word. The codes always contain a single letter followed by three numeric digits. They can be used to compare two words to determine whether they sound alike. This can be very useful when searching for information in a database or text file, particularly when looking for names that are commonly misspelled.

An example of the use of Soundex could be in the search function of a customer database. When performing a text search for the surname, "Smith", people with the name, "Smythe", would not be found. However, as the Soundex code for both surnames is "S530", a phonetic Soundex-based search would find both customers. The codes and data could also be used to ask the user, "Did you mean Smythe?".



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