Dictionary Question

Guess all 35 hidden words
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kristinchaos
Posts: 1
Joined: Sat Jun 22, 2013 4:16 am

Dictionary Question

Post by kristinchaos » Sat Jun 22, 2013 4:29 am

First I'd like to say that I love this game. My husband, my best friend and I play the daily challenge every day and love to compare the words that we've gotten and give each other hints and see what our average scores are. The interface is elegant and the game-play is very satisfying.

But sometimes the dictionary and the relative frequency ranks bewilder us. Just a few examples: Math and soccer are listed as slang, and yet it takes thru and lite. It doesn't even recognize gauge, which is a perfectly good common word. It also thinks that buss is more common than pretty much anything. I don't have other examples handy, but it frequently surprises us.

We've gotten used to this but we are consumed by curiosity- what dictionary is the game using? And what is the source for the relative word frequencies?

Thanks for a great game and for hopefully helping sate our curiosity.

-Kristin

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Sean OConnor
Posts: 1299
Joined: Fri Sep 03, 2004 7:47 am
Location: Cambridge, UK
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Re: Dictionary Question

Post by Sean OConnor » Fri Aug 02, 2013 4:21 pm

I used a free on line dictionary called 7 dicts as the basis for the game as it had words in different lists of commonness. I then spent months going through trying to improve it. There will always be words that people disagree over and I'll never get the word lists just right I think!

I've had a quick look at my word lists:

- gauge is listed in the UK wordlist but not in the US ones. I thought the US spelling was gage?
- you're right on "buss" and I just overlooked that one - it shouldn't be there
- thru is only in the US wordlist and I thought that was a legitimate alternative spelling?
- I've got Lite listed in both wordlsist.
- I thought math is just short for mathematics and soccer is just short for Association Football.

egoodwin
Posts: 1
Joined: Sat Mar 01, 2014 4:02 pm

Re: Dictionary Question

Post by egoodwin » Sat Mar 01, 2014 4:43 pm

I've been very interested in the word lists as well. I do think the dictionary and word lists are much better than in the average word game, which is one of the reasons I like WordStorm so much. There's nothing more annoying than a bad dictionary in a word game.

In answer to the specific words you mention, from the perspective of an "American" speaker:

Gauge is standard in the US - I have never seen gage as a substitute for gauge. I would consider gage a misspelling.
Thru would be an informal abbreviation, so therefore slang. Merriam-Webster says it's a "variant".
Lite has developed its own specific meaning that is separate from "light", so I agree it's not slang (and Merriam-Webster agrees as well).
In the US, although math is an abbreviation for mathematics, it is so widely accepted, I don't think it could be considered slang here.
Soccer is the only name for the game in the US - is it really an abbreviation for Association Football? - and here I thought I was an educated person! But soccer is definitely not slang in the US. Soccer is soccer, and football is football.

Other words I wonder about are velor and pacy - I've never seen those, can't find them in any dictionary. I feel strongly that these two words, along with buss, should go.

I agree that you'll never find a wordlist that makes everyone happy. However, I've come to accept these few exceptions as endearing quirks rather than as truly bothersome. I also wonder how you could change the wordlists at this point without messing up games that have been completed in the past?

Thanks again for a great game!

ArthDev
Posts: 1
Joined: Mon May 22, 2017 10:37 pm

Re: Dictionary Question

Post by ArthDev » Mon May 22, 2017 10:38 pm

Sean OConnor wrote:I used a free on line dictionary called 7 dicts as the basis for the game as it had words in different lists of commonness. I then spent months going through trying to improve it. There will always be words that people disagree over and I'll never get the word lists just right I think!

I've had a quick look at my word lists:

- gauge is listed in the UK wordlist but not in the US ones. I thought the US spelling was gage?
- you're right on "buss" and I just overlooked that one - it shouldn't be there
- thru is only in the US wordlist and I thought that was a legitimate alternative spelling?
- I've got Lite listed in both wordlsist.
- I thought math is just short for mathematics and soccer is just short for Association Football.
Thanks !! :D
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