I know the meaning of the term "filter bubble" but I want to translate it and so I need to understand how the two words (filter and bubble) are connected to each other. Does the term mean "a bubble that act as a filter" or "a filter that act like a bubble". I need to know what the term is grammatically. More generally, how to understand it when two noun are coming in a row making a single term.

Sentence Example: Sites like Facebook are accused of creating "filter bubbles", the phenomenon of showing people things that they like or tend to agree with, and hiding those that they don't. (https://www.telegraph.co.uk/technology/0/fake-news-exactly-has-really-had-influence/)

  • What does the term 'filter bubble' mean? Or more importantly, what definition are you trying to translate? – JeffUK Apr 23 '18 at 9:53
  • 'Filter bubble' seems to be a compound noun according to what I find on the internet. That means it's a single lexeme. Translating the individual words is at best risky. For instance, 'ink well' is 'encrier' in French, not 'puits d'encre'. – Edwin Ashworth Apr 23 '18 at 11:39
  • Note that "filter bubble" is most likely to be used as a metaphor for someone who "lives in a bubble", and all information they get is "filtered" through news outlets and the like that they find politically acceptable. But it likely has other meanings in other contexts. GIVE US SOME CONTEXT!!!! – Hot Licks Apr 23 '18 at 12:42
  • Eli Pariser's book The Filter Bubble: How the New Personalized Web Is Changing What We Read and How We Think is the canonical description of this term wrt digital space. Briefly, his views are that predictive algorithms which match people's interests as expressed in their online behavior(s) with, e.g., news feeds, thereby create personalized echo chambers which reinforce existing views, denying access to alternative, counterfactual, disconfirming sources of information. – DJohnson Apr 25 '18 at 14:30
  • @HotLicks Please provide reason for down-voting. – Sasan Apr 26 '18 at 18:55

In most cases when you have a compound noun like this, the head is the last part, and the first part modifies the head. So if you have a store where they sell pets, it's a pet shop. Likewise a mask that is meant for the face is a face mask.

A filter bubble would therefore be a bubble that acts as a filter.

Simply said, we are just looking at a noun being used attributively, taking the same place as an adjective would (it would be a a busy store, blue mask or a big bubble).

One notable group of exceptions to this rule are compound words, usually in fixed expressions, where the attributively used part follows the head, as in secretary general or sergeant major. Note that general and major can be interpreted as (originally) adjectives, even though they are nowadays thought of as nouns in their own right.

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    There are many different semantic relationships in attributive + head-noun couplets. Here, it's a 'bubble' (state of isolation) resulting from a filtering process, as a quick look in Wikipedia shows. – Edwin Ashworth Apr 23 '18 at 11:45
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    I think semantically it makes more sense to say a filter bubble is a filter that acts as / creates a bubble. – FumbleFingers Apr 23 '18 at 11:45

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