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Author Topic: Common animals - 4 April 17 standard  (Read 1122 times)
yelnats
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« on: April 05, 2017, 06:42:21 PM »

Eland - common
Echidna - not common.

I've seen more echidnas wandering around than elands.

I don't think elands are that common in Africa. "Total numbers have been estimated at ca. 136,000." (http://www.iucnredlist.org/details/22055/0)


"Echidnas are the oldest surviving mammal on the planet today,"  "they are widespread and classified as ‘common’."(http://wildcare.org.au/species-information/echidnas/)

p.s. I didn't get 'enchilada' and I teach U3A beginners' Spanish!

p.s. I didn't get enchilada and I teach U3A beginners' Spanish!

Millie, an echidna, was a mascot for the 2000 Summer Olympics.

What is the feeling amongst the non-Oz players?

« Last Edit: April 05, 2017, 08:34:07 PM by yelnats » Logged
Greynomad
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« Reply #1 on: April 05, 2017, 07:35:08 PM »

Certainly echidna, and eland, were common to me, when compared to enchilada, a 9 letter word with about a 40% hit rate from my calculation.

Anyway, that is the charm of the game I guess.
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smaug
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« Reply #2 on: April 05, 2017, 07:50:03 PM »

Eland is a hoary old chestnut and longstanding crossword answer
I agree echidna common for us Aussies, but my guess is they are about as well known anywhere else as elands!
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Leedscot
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« Reply #3 on: April 05, 2017, 08:14:22 PM »

FWIW, this UK user was surprised echidna wasn't common.

Jock
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smaug
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« Reply #4 on: April 05, 2017, 08:28:39 PM »

Hard to cater for all the various English cultures
No way I would have got enchilada (funny how thats a common and not even English!)

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Les303
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« Reply #5 on: April 05, 2017, 09:52:30 PM »

Initially i was going to fully support Yelnats.

But on reflection  , the only reason  that ' eland ' Is familiar to me is from crosswords so why would we expect that echidna would be common to others around the world unless of course they are all avid fans of Sir David Attenborough.
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Les from Brisbane ; Australia
mkenuk
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« Reply #6 on: April 05, 2017, 11:32:46 PM »


No way I would have got enchilada (funny how thats a common and not even English!)


It's funny how people learn words and acquire new vocabulary.

I'm old enough to remember the early 60s and a pop record by Pat Boone called 'Speedy Gonzales'.

It was an enormous hit in UK, despite the fact that, in truth, none of us had the faintest idea what he was singing about.

We in UK didn't know that Speedy Gonzales was a cartoon character. We had no idea what 'giving green stamps with tequila at the cantina' meant; and as for 'no enchiladas in the icebox' and 'walking alone among the 'adobe haciendas' - he might as well have sung the entire song in Spanish!
Never mind, we loved the song anyway. Much later I found out what all these strange words and expressions meant.

In yesterday's game I did see 'enchilada' - time spent listening to pop songs can be useful - but the one word I missed was 'hacienda'!

I did, however, spot 'dacha', which I suppose is a kind of Russian 'hacienda'!

MK



 


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Calilasseia
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« Reply #7 on: April 06, 2017, 10:20:11 AM »

Among the animals that keep cropping up here from time to time are: civet (a species of cat), okapi (a species of antelope), dugong (sea mammal superficially similar to the manatee, to which it is related), beluga (a species of whale), narwhal (an oddball species of whale with a single, spiral tusk), walrus, and very occasionally, we see platypus (the other Australian monotreme) and hyrax (superficially rodent like mammal whose closest relatives are actually the elephants). Others to look out for include lemur (a distant primate cousin of ours), possum and the American opossum (both marsupials), pangolin (armoured anteaters from Africa and Asia), tenrec (any of a diverse range of mammals from Madagascar), colugo (known as flying lemurs, even though they're not primates), tapir (relations of pigs with elongated snouts), kudu(large antelope with spiral horns), oryx (another antelope), gemsbok (a particular species of oryx), nyala yet another antelope), and impala (yet another antelope, also the name of a Chevrolet car).

The rodents alone are a Scrabble player's points fest, with degu, coypu, gerbil, jerboa and agouti to name but a few.

Meanwhile, among the rodents, here's one that won't appear in the game, but is worthy of note: Dinomys branickii, otherwise known as Count Branicki's Terrible Mouse. Unless it appears in its alternate guise as the pacarana. There's something Pythonesque about an animal with that name. It's notable not only because of its faintly hilarious name, but because it's related to a fossil rodent, one Josephoartigasia monesi, that lived in South America in the Pliocene. This was, in effect, a sort of giant guinea pig that was the size of a hippopotamus. But if you want a really big mammal, try Paraceratherium from the Oligocene era, which lived in Asia - this distant relative of the rhinoceros may have been a 10 ton beast, with some estimates of the 15 to 20 ton order, and may have been 17 feet high at the shoulder.
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Alan W
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« Reply #8 on: August 11, 2017, 02:58:03 PM »

The initial query here was about the apparent inconsistency in the coding of the animals eland (common) and echidna (rare).

I agree this is an inconsistent arrangement. Both words are used quite a lot in their home territories: eland in South Africa, Tanzania and some other African countries; echidna in Australia. Elsewhere neither of these words is used much, but it looks like eland is used less frequently, once we omit the proper names (Eland is a surname, there is an Eland Oil & Gas company, etc).

I think eland should be treated as a rare word from now on. That still leaves open the possibility of making echidna common, but I'm not sure that would be justified, so I'm leaving that word unchanged.

Incidentally, yelnats, your arguments about the rarity or commonness of the two species aren't persuasive. After all unicorn is certainly a common word, though the actual creatures are as rare as it is possible to be. And there are probably types of beetle that exist in their billions although their names are known to very few. As for Millie the echidna, the Sydney Olympics mascot - really? The three mascots in 2000 were so forgettable, I doubt if one in a hundred Sydneysiders could dredge up their names and species, let alone anybody in the rest of the world.

Enchilada was also queried in this thread, and there seems to be a strong case against that word remaining common, but I'll look into that another time.
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Alan Walker
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« Reply #9 on: August 11, 2017, 03:37:19 PM »

Just as a side thought, I'd bet a lot of Chi players also like crosswords (like me) and eland crops up a lot in those, along with several other African beasts.

Now that raises a more interesting moot point.  When you talk about common/uncommon, should the universe of word users be the entire English speaking world (which is the obvious way to do it and which we appear to do it here) or the universe of Chi players?  We all have different vocabularies and many differences among ourselves about what should be common or rare, but could there be a set of words relatively common to word game players that is not so common among the rest of the populace, and if so, should those be common words in Chi?  Not expecting an answer or action, just a stray thought.
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Les303
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« Reply #10 on: August 11, 2017, 03:58:06 PM »

Gooday Tom ,
Nice to hear from you as it has been a while so hope you are keeping well.

I do appreciate & tend to agree with your logic however I seem to remember that Alan has previously stated that just because a word may be common to " most " chi players , that in itself is not enough justification for a reclassification & you would also have to consider how unfair that would be to any new players.

Cheers Les
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Les from Brisbane ; Australia
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« Reply #11 on: August 11, 2017, 09:26:42 PM »

I fear that I might be responsible for Alan thinking of demoting “eland” from common to rare.  I suggested “eland” as an example of a word that had similar limited currency to the word “coir” which he has as “rare” and which I asked to be elevated.

I now see that he doesn’t have “echidna” as common because it won’t generally be familiar to players outside Australia.  Sorry Alan, but why don’t you demote “bison” and “moose” because they are words that players outside north America very seldom use except in a word game?

Alan,  You will fail to recruit potential players if you demote words like eland.  I think there is a good case for keeping some “word game words” as common – these are the sort of words that scrabble players have embedded in their brains and they will hardly think much of your website if they don’t find their words here.  At least you don’t have to worry about all those tedious and tiresome issues about 2- and 3-letter words that have made scrabble almost unplayable.

Incidentally, I thought that Calilasseia’s contribution to this topic was brilliant.  I’d thought that beluga was a curious inclusion in the common word list – thinking that it referred to the caviar(e) and forgetting it was a type of whale – but I would include all those coypus, colugos etc.  There’s nothing wrong in including some of the trivial pursuit sort of words and it makes the game more fun.

And, turning to something quite different:  surely “cabernet” is a common word?  It is used in wines more frequently than “pinot”.

But, the weakest feature of the present common wordlist is the inclusion of all these silly comparative adjectives.  You may well have heard the word “ashiest” as often as you did the word “colugo” but at least “colugo” takes you into territory where you might learn something.

And as for “reascend”!!!  Well I ask you!  How on earth did this become “common”?
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pat
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« Reply #12 on: August 11, 2017, 10:18:52 PM »

Oldpaul, I'd be very surprised indeed if the demotion of eland, or indeed any word, to rare status resulted in the failure to recruit new players!
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mkenuk
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« Reply #13 on: August 11, 2017, 10:28:36 PM »

  Sorry Alan, but why don’t you demote “bison” and “moose” because they are words that players outside north America very seldom use except in a word game?



'moose' seldom used outside N. America?

A still from one of the funniest moments ever on UK tv - Manuel and the 'talking' moose's head .

 


* Fawlty - Moose's Head.png (46.61 KB, 181x136 - viewed 63 times.)
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TRex
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« Reply #14 on: August 12, 2017, 06:43:24 AM »

Never seen an eland outside a zoo, but it appears frequently in nature programmes (and in crossword puzzles)!
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