New -IZE words, whose -ISE variants come up blank in the search tool and are not specified

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Paul Erdunast
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New -IZE words, whose -ISE variants come up blank in the search tool and are not specified

Post by Paul Erdunast » Mon Dec 07, 2015 10:22 pm

There are a few new ODO words like http://www.oxforddictionaries.com/defin ... =PAGANIZER which don't have the ISE variant specified. When you search for the ISE variant you get http://www.oxforddictionaries.com/spell ... =PAGANISER.

Others: PATINIZE

So Susie wouldn't see it at all, and I would have to ask her to look up PAGANIZER and beseech her to allow the ISE variant. Would PAGANISER be allowed?

Guidance on this would be much appreciated!

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Re: New -IZE words, whose -ISE variants come up blank in the search tool and are not specified

Post by Heather Styles » Tue Dec 08, 2015 12:19 am

I am pretty sure that PAGANISER would be disallowed. Also, in my experience, contestants don't get any say while allow/disallow decisions are being made.

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Re: New -IZE words, whose -ISE variants come up blank in the search tool and are not specified

Post by Paul Erdunast » Tue Dec 08, 2015 12:58 am

Yeah - it just seems a bit strange that something ending in -IZE wouldn't be allowed in -ISE. Even if not specifically in there.

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Re: New -IZE words, whose -ISE variants come up blank in the search tool and are not specified

Post by Paul Erdunast » Tue Dec 08, 2015 1:07 am

It gets weirder with PAGANISER because PAGANISE/S/D are allowed alongside the Z version, so it's even more arbitrary that PAGANISER wouldn't be allowed:

http://www.oxforddictionaries.com/defin ... #pagan__14

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Re: New -IZE words, whose -ISE variants come up blank in the search tool and are not specified

Post by Gavin Chipper » Tue Dec 08, 2015 1:19 am

Paul Erdunast wrote:It gets weirder with PAGANISER because PAGANISE/S/D are allowed alongside the Z version, so it's even more arbitrary that PAGANISER wouldn't be allowed:

http://www.oxforddictionaries.com/defin ... #pagan__14
I suppose it's because PAGANIZER is a separate entry, and it's one of those new crappy entries that isn't proper.

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Re: New -IZE words, whose -ISE variants come up blank in the search tool and are not specified

Post by Paul Erdunast » Tue Dec 08, 2015 1:33 am

I suppose it's because PAGANIZER is a separate entry, and it's one of those new crappy entries that isn't proper.
Yes - so would Susie see behind it, or have instructions to automatically allow any -ISE declaration if -IZE is in and vice versa? If not, it's gonna get extremely confusing and internally inconsistent.

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Re: New -IZE words, whose -ISE variants come up blank in the search tool and are not specified

Post by Matthew Tassier » Tue Dec 08, 2015 9:12 am

Paul Erdunast wrote:
I suppose it's because PAGANIZER is a separate entry, and it's one of those new crappy entries that isn't proper.
Yes - so would Susie see behind it, or have instructions to automatically allow any -ISE declaration if -IZE is in and vice versa? If not, it's gonna get extremely confusing and internally inconsistent.
Where would the fun be in having a consistent dictionary and infallible adjudication? What would we discuss? (cf. football)

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Re: New -IZE words, whose -ISE variants come up blank in the search tool and are not specified

Post by Mark Deeks » Tue Dec 08, 2015 10:42 am

Get rid of the ODO and go back to the print edition. It's the only way.
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Re: New -IZE words, whose -ISE variants come up blank in the search tool and are not specified

Post by Heather Styles » Tue Dec 08, 2015 1:56 pm

Get rid of the ODO - so much yes (for Countdowning purposes). Go back to the print version - is this the only or best option?

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Re: New -IZE words, whose -ISE variants come up blank in the search tool and are not specified

Post by Mark Deeks » Tue Dec 08, 2015 2:30 pm

Well, going to a static dictionary has its problems, hence the change in the first place. But I think I prefer that staticness to this wild inconsistency of online services.
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Re: New -IZE words, whose -ISE variants come up blank in the search tool and are not specified

Post by Graeme Cole » Tue Dec 08, 2015 5:55 pm

You can make an argument either way with PAGANISER.

In favour of allowing it, every -ize word can also be -ise in British English. There are a small number of exceptions like SIZE, but the presumption must be that -ise is fine.

On the other hand, perhaps PAGANIZER is only ever spelt with a Z. Maybe they have only a small number of usage examples and they all use a Z, and that's why PAGANISER isn't listed at all. Variant spellings for which there's no usage evidence shouldn't be in the dictionary and shouldn't be allowed, so disallow it.

They're both reasonable arguments. I can't say which one Susie would pick. Personally I would allow it. Some might bring up the possibility that Susie might look up PAGANISER, not find it, then look up PAGANISE and PAGANIZE, not find it under those entries either, so disallow PAGANISER without realising PAGANIZER is valid. But if we, a bunch of people on an internet forum, have managed to identify the faults and foibles of the search box, and would also think to look for PAGANIZER, an experienced lexicographer who has studied language for years would also be able to think of that.

IMO Countdown definitely should NOT go back to the print edition. The online service isn't perfect, and yes, there's a small but nonzero possibility that a valid word might be declared invalid on the day, but compare that to the problems you'd have with going back to the book...

Using ODO: A player gets an obscure inflection such as PAGANISER disallowed because nobody on the day thought to look up PAGANIZER. This causes them to lose the match, and later on it's decided that PAGANISER should have been allowed. Whoops, these things occasionally happen, and in fact also used to happen with the ODE. That player gets invited back next series to try again. A bit of a kerfuffle, a bit of egg/face interaction, but no real harm done.

Using dead-tree ODE: A player offers a common everyday word such as SELFIES or FRACKING, and to everyone's surprise it's disallowed. Susie explains "Sorry, we're still using a dictionary that was printed in 2009 and which OUP have no plans to update, and that word wasn't in common enough usage back then." The player then loses the match but doesn't get another chance because the word had to be disallowed, them's the rules.

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Re: New -IZE words, whose -ISE variants come up blank in the search tool and are not specified

Post by Mark Deeks » Tue Dec 08, 2015 5:57 pm

Graeme Cole wrote:In favour of allowing it, every -ize word can also be -ise in British English.
Not that it applies here but my understanding of this was that it does not apply to stuff originally derivative of brand names. Hence, simonize is valid, simonise isn't.
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Re: New -IZE words, whose -ISE variants come up blank in the search tool and are not specified

Post by Gavin Chipper » Tue Dec 08, 2015 6:20 pm

Is there a specific rule that allows ISE when only IZE is specified? If so, then I think ISER should be allowed when only IZER is. If there is no rule, then no. As for whether Susie would actually find it, we don't need a thread for that. It's just speculation either way. It's about whether it should be allowed.
Graeme Cole wrote:You can make an argument either way with PAGANISER.

In favour of allowing it, every -ize word can also be -ise in British English. There are a small number of exceptions like SIZE, but the presumption must be that -ise is fine.

On the other hand, perhaps PAGANIZER is only ever spelt with a Z. Maybe they have only a small number of usage examples and they all use a Z, and that's why PAGANISER isn't listed at all. Variant spellings for which there's no usage evidence shouldn't be in the dictionary and shouldn't be allowed, so disallow it.
It would be mental to have an IZE->ISE rule and not an IZER->ISER rule. There might also be IZE words that have no ISE usage just as much as IZER/ISER, so this isn't really an argument.
IMO Countdown definitely should NOT go back to the print edition. The online service isn't perfect, and yes, there's a small but nonzero possibility that a valid word might be declared invalid on the day, but compare that to the problems you'd have with going back to the book...
What problems exactly? That more modern words like LAGGY might not be in the print edition because it doesn't get updated quickly enough? Oh wait... That's right - as long as they continually update it with headline-grabbing words like AWESOMESAUCE that are used far less than more boring words that haven't made it in then everything is fine.
Using ODO: A player gets an obscure inflection such as PAGANISER disallowed because nobody on the day thought to look up PAGANIZER. This causes them to lose the match, and later on it's decided that PAGANISER should have been allowed. Whoops, these things occasionally happen, and in fact also used to happen with the ODE. That player gets invited back next series to try again. A bit of a kerfuffle, a bit of egg/face interaction, but no real harm done.

Using dead-tree ODE: A player offers a common everyday word such as SELFIES or FRACKING, and to everyone's surprise it's disallowed. Susie explains "Sorry, we're still using a dictionary that was printed in 2009 and which OUP have no plans to update, and that word wasn't in common enough usage back then." The player then loses the match but doesn't get another chance because the word had to be disallowed, them's the rules.
I take your point that there are some common words that have been added, but it's not been at all comprehensive so I don't think it would be that big a deal to carry on using the print edition. It's nice to have an up-to-date dictionary, but the problems with using the print edition are not that serious.

Anyway, I don't think the only solutions available are to either carry on as we are or go back to the print edition. The solution is for Countdown to go to the Oxford Dictionary people and say "We give your dictionaries brilliant free advertising and have done for years, but unfortunately your dictionaries have never really been precise enough to serve our needs. Would it be possible to sort one out for us? Preferably this would be online so it could be updated frequently (and don't use it as a place to empty the rubbish!), but if not, it's not the end of the world." If they say yes, then fine. If it's a no, then it's time to move on to another brand of dictionary that will play ball!
Mark Deeks wrote:Not that it applies here but my understanding of this was that it does not apply to stuff originally derivative of brand names. Hence, simonize is valid, simonise isn't.
Interestingly the search box finds SIMONIZE if you look for SIMONISE.

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Re: New -IZE words, whose -ISE variants come up blank in the search tool and are not specified

Post by Clive Brooker » Tue Dec 08, 2015 7:09 pm

Graeme Cole wrote:Using dead-tree ODE: A player offers a common everyday word such as SELFIES or FRACKING, and to everyone's surprise it's disallowed. Susie explains "Sorry, we're still using a dictionary that was printed in 2009 and which OUP have no plans to update, and that word wasn't in common enough usage back then." The player then loses the match but doesn't get another chance because the word had to be disallowed, them's the rules.
It was never difficult for either players or viewers to understand what was going on with new words and the printed ODE. The fact that things like SELFIES and FRACKING weren't allowable never damaged the game, and having a stable word-base was not a bad thing. Requiring new words to be deemed sufficiently permanent to warrant inclusion in a printed dictionary did, to my way of thinking, add a lot of charm to the show.

I don't think the case for moving to the ODO was ever properly made, but if development of the printed dictionary has been abandoned there might have been no alternative.

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Re: New -IZE words, whose -ISE variants come up blank in the search tool and are not specified

Post by Paul Erdunast » Wed Dec 09, 2015 1:22 am

To make things more confusing: MINORIZE doesn't appear to have the -ISE variant anywhere http://www.oxforddictionaries.com/defin ... h/minorize. This would be a pretty useful verb...

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Re: New -IZE words, whose -ISE variants come up blank in the search tool and are not specified

Post by Johnny Canuck » Wed Dec 09, 2015 1:39 am

Just switch Countdown to an all-numbers format.
Q: What is the longest word in the world?
A: "Gigaparsecs", because there is a gigaparsec before the last S.

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Re: New -IZE words, whose -ISE variants come up blank in the search tool and are not specified

Post by Graeme Cole » Wed Dec 09, 2015 9:22 am

Gavin Chipper wrote:Is there a specific rule that allows ISE when only IZE is specified? If so, then I think ISER should be allowed when only IZER is. If there is no rule, then no. As for whether Susie would actually find it, we don't need a thread for that. It's just speculation either way. It's about whether it should be allowed.
Not a specific Countdown rule, no. Just how the language works. There are exceptions, like SIMONIZE as Mark says, and words which aren't what you'd call "-ize words" in the sense we mean, such as SIZE, SEIZE, MAIZE etc, but I'd be surprised to find that PAGANIZE is one of the exceptions. Of course, if it is, then that explains the omission of PAGANISE, but that's more likely to be a shortcoming of the web interface.

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Re: New -IZE words, whose -ISE variants come up blank in the search tool and are not specified

Post by Gavin Chipper » Wed Dec 09, 2015 11:35 pm

Graeme Cole wrote:
Gavin Chipper wrote:Is there a specific rule that allows ISE when only IZE is specified? If so, then I think ISER should be allowed when only IZER is. If there is no rule, then no. As for whether Susie would actually find it, we don't need a thread for that. It's just speculation either way. It's about whether it should be allowed.
Not a specific Countdown rule, no. Just how the language works. There are exceptions, like SIMONIZE as Mark says, and words which aren't what you'd call "-ize words" in the sense we mean, such as SIZE, SEIZE, MAIZE etc, but I'd be surprised to find that PAGANIZE is one of the exceptions. Of course, if it is, then that explains the omission of PAGANISE, but that's more likely to be a shortcoming of the web interface.
I don't think we can go making rulings by declaring it's "just how the language works". In almost all cases both IZE and ISE are specified, and it's not up to us to decide that they should also be allowed when not specified. I do seem to remember someone saying it was in the guidance notes or something though. If not, then not specified = not in.

Well there's this, which would cover it and probably what I was thinking of, but it should also be explicitly stated in the rules if it's a thing. In case anyone can't read it, it's a post from Charlie saying:
They've said explicitly that they will always accept -ISE and -IZE, no matter what's specified. (This came up with AUTOMIZE before.)

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Re: New -IZE words, whose -ISE variants come up blank in the search tool and are not specified

Post by Paul Erdunast » Mon Jan 18, 2016 12:53 am

Update: I asked Countdown about these and they said they would be disallowed (though each word would be judged on a case by case basis). While all ISE can be IZE, it doesn't work the other way round.

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Re: New -IZE words, whose -ISE variants come up blank in the search tool and are not specified

Post by Johnny Canuck » Mon Jan 18, 2016 1:06 am

Paul Erdunast wrote:While all ISE can be IZE
http://www.apterous.org/lexplorer.php?word=advertize
Q: What is the longest word in the world?
A: "Gigaparsecs", because there is a gigaparsec before the last S.

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Re: New -IZE words, whose -ISE variants come up blank in the search tool and are not specified

Post by Graeme Cole » Mon Jan 18, 2016 9:16 am

Paul Erdunast wrote:Update: I asked Countdown about these and they said they would be disallowed (though each word would be judged on a case by case basis). While all ISE can be IZE, it doesn't work the other way round.
That looks the wrong way round to me.

It's certainly not true that all ISE can be IZE. As well as Johnny's example, there are all these.

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Re: New -IZE words, whose -ISE variants come up blank in the search tool and are not specified

Post by Countdown Team » Mon Jan 18, 2016 12:14 pm

Paul Erdunast wrote:Update: I asked Countdown about these and they said they would be disallowed (though each word would be judged on a case by case basis). While all ISE can be IZE, it doesn't work the other way round.
There is no blanket rule that covers this. Not all -ISE can be -IZE, and vice versa. We've never stated that all -ISE can be -IZE.

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Re: New -IZE words, whose -ISE variants come up blank in the search tool and are not specified

Post by Paul Erdunast » Mon Jan 18, 2016 12:28 pm

My bad - I read 'most' as 'all'!

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Re: New -IZE words, whose -ISE variants come up blank in the search tool and are not specified

Post by Paul Erdunast » Mon Jan 18, 2016 1:38 pm

The import I suppose of the ruling is that it is now unclear whether http://www.apterous.org/lexplorer.php?word=nectarise is valid, as it's not listed in the OED: http://www.oxforddictionaries.com/defin ... /nectarize.

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Re: New -IZE words, whose -ISE variants come up blank in the search tool and are not specified

Post by Robert Foster » Mon Jan 18, 2016 4:40 pm

As part of the apterous dictionary update, Zarte and I have been including -ISE variants for every new -IZE word (but not the other way round). So for apterous at least, we've assumed that this is the standard rule. I've done this for all of the new headwords beginning with A, B, C, E, G, H, P, S, and T, so we should probably continue in this manner for the sake of consistency.

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Re: New -IZE words, whose -ISE variants come up blank in the search tool and are not specified

Post by Gavin Chipper » Mon Jan 18, 2016 4:58 pm

Robert Foster wrote:As part of the apterous dictionary update, Zarte and I have been including -ISE variants for every new -IZE word (but not the other way round). So for apterous at least, we've assumed that this is the standard rule. I've done this for all of the new headwords beginning with A, B, C, E, G, H, P, S, and T, so we should probably continue in this manner for the sake of consistency.
Is it better to be consistently wrong or sometimes right and sometimes wrong?

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Re: New -IZE words, whose -ISE variants come up blank in the search tool and are not specified

Post by JimBentley » Mon Jan 18, 2016 5:11 pm

Gavin Chipper wrote:Is it better to be consistently wrong or sometimes right and sometimes wrong?
Now that is the big question, although obviously neither is optimal. A stopped clock tells the correct time twice a day and all that shit, but I'd rather have a working clock.
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Re: New -IZE words, whose -ISE variants come up blank in the search tool and are not specified

Post by Gavin Chipper » Mon Jan 18, 2016 5:27 pm

JimBentley wrote:
Gavin Chipper wrote:Is it better to be consistently wrong or sometimes right and sometimes wrong?
Now that is the big question, although obviously neither is optimal. A stopped clock tells the correct time twice a day and all that shit, but I'd rather have a working clock.
Things can be changed though even if it takes time. The worst thing would be to carry on with the "wrong" approach and then decide at the end to change it all. Apterous is largely a training ground for Countdown, so I think it would be best to go in that general direction as early as possible.

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Re: New -IZE words, whose -ISE variants come up blank in the search tool and are not specified

Post by JimBentley » Mon Jan 18, 2016 6:13 pm

Gavin Chipper wrote:
JimBentley wrote:
Gavin Chipper wrote:Is it better to be consistently wrong or sometimes right and sometimes wrong?
Now that is the big question, although obviously neither is optimal. A stopped clock tells the correct time twice a day and all that shit, but I'd rather have a working clock.
Things can be changed though even if it takes time. The worst thing would be to carry on with the "wrong" approach and then decide at the end to change it all. Apterous is largely a training ground for Countdown, so I think it would be best to go in that general direction as early as possible.
I know, I was just being contrary. I like uncertainty, it makes the game more entertaining.
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Re: New -IZE words, whose -ISE variants come up blank in the search tool and are not specified

Post by Gavin Chipper » Mon Jan 18, 2016 6:37 pm

JimBentley wrote:I like uncertainty
How certain are you of this?

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Re: New -IZE words, whose -ISE variants come up blank in the search tool and are not specified

Post by JimBentley » Mon Jan 18, 2016 6:42 pm

Gavin Chipper wrote:
JimBentley wrote:I like uncertainty
How certain are you of this?
Between 46% and 73%, I can't really get any more specific than that.
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Re: New -IZE words, whose -ISE variants come up blank in the search tool and are not specified

Post by Robert Foster » Mon Jan 18, 2016 9:17 pm

OK. I'm not sure why there's been a u-turn on this since the discussion here http://www.apterous.org/ticket_view.php ... 045#p46759, but I could probably cull the unspecified -ISEs and -ISERs from the inflections that I've compiled.

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Re: New -IZE words, whose -ISE variants come up blank in the search tool and are not specified

Post by Robert Foster » Mon Jan 18, 2016 9:40 pm

I agree that not all -ize entail -ise and vice versa. But I do think that as a blanket rule, the existence of one should imply the other. Before this update, we haven't needed a blanket rule, because every form has been stated explicitly. The issue is that some of the new entries are quite sloppily compiled. If an -ise form hasn't been explicitly listed in the latest batch of headwords, then it's probably due to the incompleteness of the dictionary entry, rather than there being a legitimate linguistic reason why one form can't exist. See CARBOLIZE, SATIRIZER, GEODIZED.

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Re: New -IZE words, whose -ISE variants come up blank in the search tool and are not specified

Post by Paul Erdunast » Mon Jan 18, 2016 11:27 pm

I totally agree Rob. For the majority of the examples in Graeme's link (http://www.oxforddictionaries.com/words/ize-ise-or-yse), Oxford Dictionaries has said you can't use the Z because "-ise is part of a longer word element rather than being a separate ending in its own right."

For ones like SIMONIZE there's a clear reason which can be explained. For something like PAGANISER(^?), when PAGANISE, PAGANISED and PAGANISES would be ok because PAGANISE is listed as an alternative to PAGANIZE, it can only be down to sloppy compiling that the -ise variant isn't in.

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