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Word validity questions

Posted: Thu Apr 11, 2019 2:31 pm
by Carl Harrison
Hi all

Yes I know there is a sticky thread from several years ago called "How do I know my word is valid" which I've read, but I have a few questions about comparing word validity between Apterous and the TV show, which I'd be interested if any of the crowd on here can answer.

I presume the intention is that Apterous is entirely consistent with the show, but that this isn't always necessarily the case - as Susie determines word validity herself using ODO online in the show, and there are some grey areas (e.g. plurals of mass nouns). But a few specific questions I had are:

1. The guidlines for the show issued to contestants say no American spellings are allowed ("e.g. labor, favor, cigaret") although American words are ("e.g. sneakers, zucchini). So why does Apterous seem to allow some words which ODO classifies as American spellings - e.g. INDORSE.

2. Similarly there various words ending -IZE which ODO says the British version is -ISE (e.g. RANDOMIZE, PLURALIZE) - are these ok because ODO doesn't specify that -IZE is specifically American, just notes that -ISE is British?

3. The guidlines also say that words beginning with capital letters in the dictionary are not allowed. So why does this not always seem consistent on Apterous? - e.g. ROMANITE as an example.

Grateful for any comments!

Re: Word validity questions

Posted: Thu Apr 11, 2019 2:58 pm
by Ray Wilding
Apterous tries to be consistent with the ODO and the show, but it's user maintained and not perfect. The show also uses a Premium version of ODO ( which is not always identical to the free version.

1. Words labelled "US" as an alternate spelling are disallowed, but in premium ODO some words are labelled slightly differently, e.g. INDORSE is labelled (US & Law also indorse), DONUT (mainly US also donut). These are decidedly allowable.

2. The -IZE suffix is fine and not an Americanism, see the usage notes:

3. ROMANITE is listed as a spelling of RUMANITE

Re: Word validity questions

Posted: Thu Apr 11, 2019 3:57 pm
by Carl Harrison
Thanks Ray, that's really helpful - especially about the show using the Premium version (which I can access for free using my local library membership :) ) which I can see contains a lot more info on extensions of some words, and answers some of the other things I was wondering about.

Re: Word validity questions

Posted: Thu Aug 08, 2019 3:01 pm
by Carl Harrison
Coming back to this thread, I noticed that GOUTIER was disallowed in a show last week, although it appears to be ok on Apterous?

Is this just a case of the Oxford Dictionary having been updated recently and changes not made it onto Apterous yet? Or just Susie disagreeing with the Apterous interpretation of the ODO?

If so, I'd be interested to know how these Apterous dictionary updates happen - are they done relatively continuously, or every few months or so, or whenever there's a major dictionary update etc? - I presume the ODO is effectively updated in real time and Susie will just check it online on the day of recording...?

Re: Word validity questions

Posted: Thu Aug 08, 2019 7:26 pm
by Fiona T