Detecting Recently Used Words On the Fly

When writing I frequently find myself searching backward, either visually or using a reverse-find, to see if I've previously used the word that I've just used. Some words, say furthermore for example, just can't show up more than once per paragraph or two without looking overused.

I was thinking that if my editor/word-processor had a feature wherein all instances of the word I just typed were briefly highlighted it would allow me to notice awkward repeats without having to actively watch for them. Nothing terribly intrusive, mind you, but just a quick flicker of highlight while I type.

A little time spent figuring out key bindings in vim, my editor of choice, left me with this ugly looking command:

inoremap <space> <esc>"zyiw:let @/=@z<cr>`.a<space>

As a proof-of-concept, it works pretty much exactly how I described, though it breaks down a bit around punctuation and double spaces. I'm sure someone with stronger vim-fu could iron out the kinks, but it's good enough for me for now. Here's a mini-screenshot of the highlighting in action.


I'm sure the makers of real word processors, like open office, could add such a feature without much work, but maybe no one but me would ever use it.