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Author Topic: A thought  (Read 2027 times)
2dognight
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« Reply #15 on: July 16, 2017, 07:23:57 PM »


Thank you Pat will look for that in future

Mind you, the method Les uses does sound inviting

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mjpanic
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« Reply #16 on: July 21, 2017, 06:02:19 PM »

Hello Alan W....love the concept of the game and appreciate and admire the work that you invest in it!
Overwhelmingly enthusiastic when I first found the site, my desire to connect is waning. My perception is that the game has a built in "unlevel" playing field!
I was encouraged to learn to spell, and, while I accept that the language (English, I assume, and variations of Trumpese) is "living", it's disappointing to find that it's being stabbed in the back by textian and scrabblish!! Thus it is that I see this unlevel field. I have to accept that lazy spelling is running riot, rare is common and vice versa, but it's anathema to me. 'Twould be nice if we could reverse the flow but that's for Sisyphus to contemplate?
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Alan W
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« Reply #17 on: July 21, 2017, 09:56:37 PM »

Hi, mjpanic.

Do you have any examples of words that are contributing to this unlevel playing field?
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Alan Walker
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« Reply #18 on: July 22, 2017, 03:58:20 AM »

Only MJP can be certain to which words he or she was referring, but I would hazard a guess that one example might be sorta, which appeared in a puzzle recently, or its cousin gimme. He or she may also be objecting to fine old words such as orale, which are not widely known except to people who play Scrabble or crossword puzzles. He or she probably is frustrated, like many other Chihuahua players, by the fact that words common to him or her such as rota or rort are not considered common in Chihuahua. Perhaps as purist he or she believes that the English language began its decay in 1828, when Mr. Webster first published his dictionary. Perhaps he or she objects to any word added to the English language after Samuel Johnson published his dictionary in 1755. In any case MJP's reference to "Trumpese" is gratuitous, since any word in the Chihuahua lexicon to which he or she probably objects has been there since before Mr. Trump became a candidate in the American presidential election process.

In some sense the playing field is unlevel for everyone, because everyone has differing levels of education, differing regional vocabularies and differing methods and expectations while playing the game.
« Last Edit: July 22, 2017, 04:27:55 AM by rogue_mother » Logged

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Calilasseia
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« Reply #19 on: July 22, 2017, 05:18:54 PM »

Of course, part of the problem is that the game caters to an international audience, as it were, and that audience includes populations of several million apiece in places such as Australia and New Zealand, which all have their own unique additions to the language. Many of said additions being commonplace in speech in those countries, but which are almost certainly unheard of beyond those shores. Likewise, I suspect South Africa has some interesting additions of its own that constitute, shall we say, limited exports. Players in these countries probably encounter the "not found" message rather more frequently than they would like as a result.

Then, of course, we have the large body of antique words, originating from English as spoken 200 or more years ago, that are, today, mainly the province of professional lexicographers and Scrabble players.

One issue I keep encountering, is the number of words that are commonplace in scientific papers (which I have dealings with on a regular basis), but which are in some cases missing from the Chi database. Likewise, a number of terms from the world of pure mathematics, with which I am familiar, are similarly conspicuous by their absence, though I suspect the number of graduate or professional mathematicians here who would lament their absence is extremely small. However, a good number of terms from that field are too long to appear in the database, which stops at 10 letter words, so such gems as 'homeomorphism' won't appear for that reason. (For those who want to delve into the intricacies of the difference between 'homomorphism' and 'homeomorphism', Wikipedia's entries on these terms should prove entertaining!). In addition, several terms from both mathematics and the hard sciences are ruled out on the basis of being proper nouns, either intrinsically or by virtue of arising from the name of an eminent worker in the field. Topology is particularly replete with these, with various entities within that discipline being named after the mathematicians who first worked upon them - spaces that are labelled Hausdorff, Tychonoff and Kolmogorov being merely three of many, with those labels being associated in each case by a precise definition of the nature of the space. Those who wish to delve further on this matter may either find themselves wonderfully entertained, or completely bemused, depending upon background.

Then of course, we have that region of hilarity, arising from the manner in which American English changes the spellings of words with respect to British English, merely one of many reasons for the old joke about Americans and British people being divided by a common language.

Enabling the Chi game to please everybody all of the time, via, for example, such devices as taking regional variations into account, would not only expand the database by a large amount, but require the underlying software to become a labyrinthine behemoth, which is one of the reasons Alan hasn't gone down this road - if he were paid to perform this undertaking, he would be able to retire handsomely on the proceeds!
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TRex
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« Reply #20 on: July 23, 2017, 01:29:24 AM »

Then, of course, we have the large body of antique words, originating from English as spoken 200 or more years ago, that are, today, mainly the province of professional lexicographers and Scrabble players.

Interestingly (to me, at any rate), is that today's 'Word of the Day' from the OED is widge, the letters of which are available in the current Challenge puzzle. But the word, which is quite old [A horse, a steed; (in later use spec.) a mare. Also: an ass.], was not playable ('not found').


One issue I keep encountering, is the number of words that are commonplace in scientific papers (which I have dealings with on a regular basis), but which are in some cases missing from the Chi database.

And yet others have noted (and I agree) the Chi database seems to have a tendency to treat scientific terms as common.
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mkenuk
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« Reply #21 on: July 23, 2017, 02:59:12 PM »

I recently glanced at some GCSE (what Americans would call 9-10 grade) science textbooks.

I was quite amazed at some of the medical, technical and scientific words that 15-16 year olds are required to be familiar with. Some of the words I'd never heard before, and there were quite a few that I couldn't be certain of pronouncing correctly. (systole and diastole for example.) chitin was another.

All of these words will, course, be found in any worthwhile dictionary intended for high-school students.

Alan has explained in the past how he set about dividing Chi's lexicon into 'common' and 'uncommon', by using the databases of a number of dictionaries that were available online.
In practice, if a word such as systole appeared in all of the dictionary databases that he used, then it would be classed as 'common' in Chi.
I further suspect that most of the dictionary databases used were American, hence the tendency for US slang such as rube, lube, sass etc and baseball terms such as bunt and bullpen to be (originally) classed as 'common'


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birdy
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« Reply #22 on: July 26, 2017, 12:10:17 PM »

I know a lot of words by sight that I have no idea how to pronounce, mkenuk.  That's probably not surprising, since for those of us who read regularly, especially on a wide range of subjects, we come across many words that are rarely spoken in our hearing.  I'm much more likely to look up the definition of a word than its pronunciation.

I remember reading a book (comic?) to my younger brother and calling the character "Yoze-mite Sam," even though I'd heard of the Yosemite (Yoh-SEM-ih-tee) National Park - just never connected the spelling and pronunciation.  My favorite example of that kind of error is a well-read friend's remark in a college class that something had "my-zeld" him.  When the professor asked him what he meant and to spell the word, it was "misled"!

For the words you listed, I'm familiar with systole, diastole, and chitin, as much from television as from reading - just popular nature programs, nothing technical - and of course all the US slang words, even though I'm not a sports fan.
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mkenuk
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« Reply #23 on: July 27, 2017, 03:35:39 AM »

.....for those of us who read regularly, especially on a wide range of subjects, we come across many words that are rarely spoken in our hearing. 

Perfectly true.
However, as a teacher of English for more than forty years, I was often called upon by colleagues to settle friendly (usually) disputes about all kinds of words. That included problematic pronunciations. So I couldn't escape.
As for strange place-names, why should Lerwick in the Shetland Isles be pronounced 'Lur-wick' but Berwick (a town on the England - Scotland border) be 'Berrick', and Alnwick another town about twenty miles south of the border be 'Annick'?
The Scots love to get Sassenachs and other foreigners to try to pronounce some of their place names.
'Milngavie' is a favourite; a small town in Central Scotland, it's actually pronounced 'Mull-guy'

Who can explain such things?
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Hobbit
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« Reply #24 on: July 27, 2017, 04:53:21 AM »

You could add Bicester, Towcester & Worcester to those place names Mike.  I have actually been asked "where is Bisester?" laugh Having written all three I stared at them for a few moments & started to doubt that I'd spelt them correctly!
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mkenuk
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« Reply #25 on: July 27, 2017, 10:46:48 AM »

I'm old enough to remember the 'Goon Show' and the episode 'Tails of Men's Shirts' where Spike Milligan in a German accent is telling the paratroops 'You vill be dropped over Lie-sester....'. Brilliant
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Les303
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« Reply #26 on: July 27, 2017, 01:47:19 PM »

Mike , I am sure that you also remember that Spike was once credited with the " worlds funniest joke ".


Two hunters are out in the woods when one of them collapses. He doesn't seem to be breathing and his eyes are glazed. The other guy whips out his phone and calls the emergency services. He gasps, "My friend is dead! What can I do?" The operator says, "Calm down. I can help. First, let's make sure he's dead." There is a silence; then a gun shot is heard. Back on the phone, the guy says, "OK, now what?"
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Les from Brisbane ; Australia
mkenuk
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« Reply #27 on: July 28, 2017, 03:19:49 AM »

Spike Milligan was, quite simply, the funniest man I ever saw. Back in the 1960s I remember seeing him performing in a play called 'The Bed-Sitting Room' . His performance had the audience almost literally rolling in the aisles with laughter.

Shakespeare said  in 'Hamlet' that 'Genius is to madness near allied'. I think Spike Milligan was the proof of that. A comic genius, but more than a little bit mad.
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Calilasseia
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« Reply #28 on: September 06, 2017, 07:14:35 PM »

You could add Bicester, Towcester & Worcester to those place names Mike.  I have actually been asked "where is Bisester?" laugh Having written all three I stared at them for a few moments & started to doubt that I'd spelt them correctly!

There's also Mousehole in Cornwall. Which, as you may have guessed by my mentioning it after quoting your post, isn't pronounced as the spelling would leave the unwary to expect ... Smiley
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