's' or no 's' really killed me this time Game of Empathy

69 replies. Last post: 2006-04-11

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's' or no 's' really killed me this time
  • BIG BAD WOLF at 2006-03-31

    Ugh, either 2 things need to happen.

    1) System in place which combines the words written with an “s”, and words that are not.

    2) System in place where you can enter both versions.

    The point of the game is to guess what others will say. I know they are going to say both with and without an “s”, so I should be able to guess both.

    It really killed me this time for “Ancient Egypt” - put Pyramid (no S) and got 35, would have gotten 53 with the S.

    I played it the other way for the next – put mummies (with S) and got 26, would have gotten 47 without the S.

    Hieroglyphic (with no s) got 2 points, add an S and I would have gotten 17.

    It’s stupid to have a game where you can’t put down EVERYTHING you think that others will say.

    I think I will step away from it for awhile, like the game – but feels like I’m being cheated since I can’t play how the game is suppose to be played – and that is to put words that you think others will say, and not limit and only put 1/2 of them.

  • Judy at 2006-03-31

    Also, phrases with “The” or “A” in front of them.

    Scariest Movies, Greatest Bands, etc. have all been skewered by addition or elimination of the “The” or “A” words.

    Nightmare on Elm Street got 36, A Nightmare on Elm Street, only 13.

    And even in the Organs game: “lung” 28 vs “lungs” 60 ???
    Folks feel cheated.

    I don’t know anything about programming, manybe thie cannot be resolved,
    but it would certainly give everybody a better sense of fair play.

  • Judy at 2006-03-31

    What Ed Collins said in a different thread:

    On a similar note, I’d also like to see the word THE automatically stripped from your entry as well. For example, the phrase “The rest of your life” would be an exact match with the phrase “rest of your life”. “The Adventures of Superman” would be the same as “Adventures of Superman”.

    Note: THE is only removed if your entry begins with T-H-E . Thus, the word “theatrical” would NOT match up with “atrical”.

    This change, ignoring punctuation, and considering two different entrys a match if the only difference is an “S” at the end of one of them, would make for a better game.

  • Ed Collins at 2006-03-31

    Me too, Wolf. Beginning immediately, I’m steping down for awhile. I just don’t enjoy playing the ‘S’ or ‘no S’ game.

  • BIG BAD WOLF at 2006-03-31

    To me, the “The” or “A” in front of an answer is not as big of a problem because as of now, you have the choice to enter both guesses if you want.

    Now if they also remove the option to put both “A Nightmare..” and “Nightmare..”, then that would be again be something that takes away from the whole purpose of the game – in which to try to guess what others will say. (If I believe people will say “The Matrix and Matrix” - I can put both. If I believe people with say both “lung” and “lungs” - then all of a sudden I can’t put down the answers which I think others will say.)

    I think people will say “lungs”, but can’t put it down.

  • Figilano at 2006-04-01

    What about guessing which one people will say more often, thus “emphatize” which one to use?

    In my opionion, most of the times it’s fairly obvious if more people will chose singular or plural. “lungs”, for instance. In common usage, you almost never hear someone speak about his “lung”, but his “lungs”, because most people feel that both wings form a unity which needs not to be seperated.

    Or “pyramids” - as a world wonder, and as a visual image, it’s always the three large pyramids outside Kairo that spring into people’s minds – together! Nobody thinks about any of the other (smaller) pyramids, and most people don’t see one of the three pyramids as the singular pyramid, the archetype of a pyramid, if you will. So propably, when thinking of pyramids, they’ll thing of all three rather than one.

    “Mummy” vs. “mummies” is a bit trickier, but with the recent discussion of the movie “mummy”, and keeping the fact in mind that almost every time you see a mummy (on a picture), it will be pretty singular (who ever saw a large group of mummies?), I’d say it fits that singular won over plural here.

    For me, having to choose between singular and plural form of a word is part of the game. Although I agree that it should be possible to add both forms, if one wishes to do so. But we should keep in mind that, if that’s allowed, the “top guesses” which can be used in both singular and plural become even more valuable since many people will use both forms just to be sure. The variety of answers will suffer.

  • Marie at 2006-04-01

    Figilano thank you you put it a lot better then i could. I understand where they are coming from but like you said it would change the idea of the game.

    empathy is understanding another person so if you think there going to use that one use not the one you want. I also have the trouble with the “S” but i can live. Because of it i don’t get to far up on the ladder of this game.

    Smile and be happy life it to short.

  • Robin at 2006-04-01

    I cheated a little bit in this round, because I used both “mummies” and “mummy”. Littlegolem didn’t recognise it as the plural and singular of the same word.

    By the way, I suggested the expression “Ancient Egypt” and won the round. Has anyone else won a round with his/her suggested expression?

  • Cindy at 2006-04-01

    i have also seen some mis-spelled words, when you hit submit, i think it should check the dictionary like in golems word game to clear up that problem.

  • Rex Moore ★ at 2006-04-01

    Figilano has captured the spirit of the game. Having to choose between plural or singular (and THE or no THE, etc.) adds a welcome layer of strategy, and further highlights the better players.

    While I can “empathize” (haha) with the frustrations some of you feel over these issues, it is sort of like complaining about additional layers of complexity in any other game, like chess. Why can’t knights move in a straight line like other pieces? Because it adds more difficulty and strategy to the game.

    I know the comparison isn’t perfect, but it helps make my point that all this frustration being expressed is actually a good thing, in my opinion. :-)

  • Ed Collins at 2006-04-02

    Rex, I completely disagree.

    Haven’t you ever watched the Family Feud tv game show? This game is very similar to that. "100 people surveyed, top ten answers on the board. Here’s the question. Name something associated with a pirate."

    If I’m on the game show and I tell the host “parrots” I’m going to get credit if one of the top ten answers is parrot or parrots. Parrot, parrots... it’s the same thought, the same idea. One word is just pluralized and the other is not.

    In my opinion the “true spirit” of the game is NOT about nit-picking between plural and singular, about “A walk in the park” vs “walk in the park” etc.

    The popular game show “The $10,000 Pyramid” works the same way. Likewise with the long-running tv game show “Password.” They don’t nit-pick with plurals.

    It’s also NOT about complexity. It’s about having to guess the results of what usually amounts to nothing more than a coin flip.

  • Ed Collins at 2006-04-02

    The more complex a game is, any game, the greater the probability that a strong player will defeat a weaker player.

    Example: Chess is quite complex. Strong players almost always defeat weaker players.

    With the current Empathy rules, a WEAK player has a BETTER chance of defeating a strong player, simply by winning these “coin flips.”

    BBW will agree. As he pointed out in his first post, he “lost” his two “coin flips” by not guessing correctly on a couple of plural vs singular choices and that killed him. Anyone care to argue that BBW isn’t one of the better Empathy players here?

    Counting plurals and singular as the same word removes the chance element. Paradoxically, Empathy then becomes a more complex game. (Because it then forces you to come up with the next best word.)

  • Ed Collins at 2006-04-02

    One more comment...

    I do agree, it’s not always a true 50-50 proposition. As Figilano pointed out, sometimes you CAN make educated guesses on the better response. Thus, this “coin-flip” may actally be more of an 70-30 flip, or even an 80-20 flip. A strong player, guessing correctly, would then wn 70% or 80% of these guesses. (And yes, it often is a guess... with some words, you can never know for sure whether a plural entry is going to have more responses than a singular or vice-versa.)

    But if you remove it completely, there’s no guessing at all!! It would then come down to picking the ten most popular words, period! Again, removing guessing = more of a game of skill!

  • Figilano at 2006-04-02

    Remove guessing? I thought the whole point of this game was guessing what the other people will choose. ;-)

    Ed, take it easy. Apparently the “plural or not”-issue is a controversial one, with arguments both for and against it. But no matter which “side” has the “best” argument, it’s all overruled by just one simple thing: It’s not as simple as removing an “s” from the end of a word.

    The program did this today to me. I took the current phrase, “blue”, as a mood and thus picked the word “blues”. It was not accepted, because the program was thinking it’d be the plural form of “blue”! D’Oh...

    You see, to come up with a good algorithm to get plural forms (and not just the “s”-endings: “mummy”

  • Paavo Pirinen at 2006-04-02

    Hm. I’ve said already most I have to say about this, but still can’t resist posting. Isn’t the game mostly about making aducated guesses? I’m making educated guesses eg. about whether people will be choosing more modern top selling books or classics. Guessing about plurals or articles may be dull and hard, but that’s the most of the difference.
    Since our submissions will be processed by a computer, there will always be different forms of a same expression. Plurals and articles are only a tip of an iceberg and I think they need no special treatment.

    If not else, should plural/singular rule be discarted because it doesn’t work. Robin broke it and got the best score on Ancient Egypt (not nice, but a good demonstration); today people can’t answer “blues” because computer thinks it is a plural of “blue”.

    Do administrators still read our ramblings?

  • Paavo Pirinen at 2006-04-02

    Zounds. Figilano said it better and before I got that last bit posted. Oh well..

  • Rex Moore ★ at 2006-04-03



    I disagree, and don’t even know how you could think this. These are not coin flips in any sense: The stronger players will predict the correct side of these “flips” better than the weaker players, by definition. You can call it luck if you want, but I call it the very skill this game seeks.

    The Family Feud comparison, if you want to make it, gives weaker players better chances of defeating stronger players.

    And dang, that was an awful show anyway. ;-)

  • Marius Halsor at 2006-04-03

    I completely agree with Rex on this one: It’s not luck. If only you put the singular form, and 40 or 50 others put the plural form, then maybe there is a reason for that. One of the forms is usually more intuitive than the other. Sure, I too guess the wrong form every now and then, but to me, that only means I haven’t understood what was the more intuitive form – often because I didn’t give it enough thought.

  • Ed Collins at 2006-04-03

    Hi Rex,

    Coin flips are exactly what some of them are. There are many plural vs singular answers are completely unpredictable.

    Example. In the game “Space” starS scored higher than star and yet planet was ahead of planetS. You can’t tell me the better players all correctly predicted that stars (plural) and planet (singular) would be the winning plays.

    In “Pizza” onion scored higher than onionS but mushroomS scored higher than mushroom.

    I’ve seen lots of other similar examples. Question: Without looking back, in the “What did you eat for breakfast” game what answer scored more points: biscuit or biscuits? (If you get it wrong, would that prove my point?)

    I’m telling you, that’s a coin flip. It’s a guess... and that’s not what this game is about – often times “guessing” whether to stick an S at the end of a word, when that answer could go one way or the other. Empathy is about guessing the general idea of what the other players are going to say.

    Your statement would be more accurate if you modified it slightly and said, “The stronger players will predict the correct side of the flips MORE OFTEN than the weaker players.” Ah ha! THAT statement I would agree with! More often yes, but not all the time. Thus, Empathy, with the current rules, gives weaker players a better chance of defeating stronger players... because it gives the weaker players a CHANCE to win these coin flips. So, to make the game more skillful, you do away with them completely! Don’t give them a chance to score more points than you just because they pluralized and said “biscuits” when you decided to keep it singular and say “biscuit.” If the two answers, “biscuits” and “biscuit,” were treated the same, the score between you and the weaker player is tied. You now force the weaker player to score more points than you "legitimately."

    By the way, biscuit and biscuits scored exactly the same. (hee hee)

  • Ed Collins at 2006-04-03

    Marius, of course you guess the wrong form every now and then but it’s NOT because you didn’t give it enought thought... it’s because it’s a coin flip and you aren’t going to win every coin flip.

    And when we get the form right, it’s not always because we played it correctly and thought it out properly either, and much as we’d like to think so. It’s because we “flipped the coin” and it came up the right way.

    I’ll be the first one to tell you, some of my correct guesses were just that – complete guesses. Some I got lucky. Others I did not.

    You said: "If only you put the singular form, and 40 or 50 others put the plural form, then maybe there is a reason for that."

    Yes! I agree with that. But if you AND 39 others put the singular form, and 40 others put the plural form, you can EASILY see how that, 40 vs 40, was a coin flip!

    Even 35 votes against 45 votes can be considered a coin flip... it’s just not as readily apparent or obvious as the 40 vs 40 example. :)

  • Figilano at 2006-04-03

    Don’t wanna nitpick here, but... I’m sorry, it’s in my nature. ;)

    When I think of “space”, my (and apparently others) association is a vast field of many stars. I can’t recall ever thinking of one single star when asked about space, propably because the obvious single star that would pop up in my mind would be labeled “sun”, not “star”. And the others – well, they are pretty much a bunch of the same light dots, why bother dealing with any single one? So yes, you can predict that “stars” will win over “star” in a “space” game.

    As for planets, it’s the opposite. When asked about “space”, there will be one or the other planet that will spring to my mind – maybe Jupiter, maybe Earth, whatever – but rarely many or all of them at once, because if I think of many or all planets, I rather think of a “solar system” then the term “planets”. Also, if you take a look at the common use of speech – which echoes and reflects (in) our thoughs – you will find a wide area of expressions dealing with a singular planet: “This will affect the whole planet!” - “Our planet is in danger.” - but not as much dealing with plural planets (unless you’re into astronomy ;). “Name all planets of the solar system”, that’s pretty much it. So, yes, you can predict that “planet” will win over “planets” when asked for “space”.

    BTW, it’d be interesting to see what happens when asked not about “space”, but “solar system”. I guess “planets” would win there, if it would make the list (9 planets plus a sun are pretty much the top 10 words here), because the form the solar system together. They do not, however, form “space” in this way.

    With “pizza”, well, did you ever eat a pizza with only a single mushroom on it? Clearly you can count a lot of mushroom*s* on a pizza. It’s different with onion: Since it’s pretty much some shredded mass of white or transparent, uhm, “threads”, you can’t really tell how much onions were involved. Propably just one, anyway, as they are rather large. ;
    ) So, it can’t be counted, it’s not recognizeable individual “onions” on the pizza, hence you’ll have your pizza with (generally) “onion”, not (individual) “onions”.

    Maybe it’s just a game of chance for you, but that doesn’t mean it is a game of chance in general. It can be – like with biscuit/biscuits – but in many, many cases it’s not.

    Apart from that, you completely ignored the point that, even if it was better to tread singular and plural forms the same, it’s very difficult to implement and thus won’t happen due to pragmatic reasons anyway. So what’s the point in discussing it further?

  • BIG BAD WOLF at 2006-04-03

    Well like I said when I started this discussion, I understand that treating both singlular & plural forms of words the same would be hard to program and such, but my biggest complaint is if they can go all the way with that programming, it is MUCH worse to do it half-way and make you pick between the 2 forms – the best thing to do is allow someone to put both IF they truley think both will be said. (like it was originally).

    The game is a game where you are suppose to try to guess what others will say. If I think some will say “car” and some will say “cars” - then I should be able to put both, shouldn’t I since that is the purpose of the game?

    Another idea is to put a note in the rules, above the submit button something like “You can put either singular or plural forms of the words, but it is recommended you put singular to gather more points” - that way if the owners goal is to limit one or the other, this would do that.

    Otherwise, bring back how it was and allow us to use both forms is the easiest option then.

  • CleverHunk steven cullum at 2006-04-03

    I understand how people feel about the plural/singular issue..but if we make it so both are accepted as the same..will that be the limit? what’s do we do next to make it easy...
    if the game is too easy,it wont be as much fun.
    isnt the point to guess what the most popular answer is?
    “tink” about it.

  • Judy at 2006-04-03

    >>The game is a game where you are suppose to try to guess what others will say. If I think some will say “car” and some will say “cars” - then I should be able to put both, shouldn’t I since that is the purpose of the game?
    Otherwise, bring back how it was and allow us to use both forms is the easiest option then. <<

    What BBW said...
    I was not playing when both were allowed, but I would be happier if it could be put back to what he described.

    I think it is just stupid to not give credit for the WORD (thought, idea) if it is a toss-up as to which to choose. Car, cars, eggs, egg...all the same.

    Why can’t those who choose to list singulat and plural put them down? Why, as
    Cindy said does she have to “cheat” to win?

  • Marie at 2006-04-03

    I am sorry that you are unhappy with the game. I for one just started playing, so don’t know what it was like when it started. Yes the object of the game is to try to guess which a person will say well some will add the plural to the end and some won’t. Maybe if we could i would be higher up in the list because that is what gets me.

    But the object is to figure out the which one the most people will say and if you could do both would that make you higher on the list or are you just upset because you can not be on the top all the time.

    For me it is fun to see what people come up with. but then i am not competitive so it is fun.

  • Ed Collins at 2006-04-03

    "...you completely ignored the point that, even if it was
    better to tread singular and plural forms the same, it’s
    very difficult to implement and thus won’t happen due to
    pragmatic reasons anyway."

    Well, I suppose the difficultly level is up to each individual. I’ve had expericence as a computer programmer – I did it for a living for awhile. It would be VERY EASY for me to write a program right now, in about 30 minutes, to accept from the operator two responses as input, parse the data, and output a message as to whether they are the same or not. For example, my program could treat each of the following as being identical.

    pyramid, pyramids;
    a planet, planet;
    an apple, apple;
    The Nile, Nile;


    It’s just a simple matter of parsing the data. Any competent programmer can do it. In fact, as we know, Richard’s already doing some of it now, as evident by the fact that we aren’t allowed to enter the singular and plural of most words.

    As you may imagine what’s slightly MORE difficult is mummy & mummies or mouse & mice, etc., but even that’s not really all that hard.

  • CleverHunk steven cullum at 2006-04-03

    judy you dont see the diff between plural & singular?

  • Paavo Pirinen at 2006-04-03

    Well, as we can use any expression, it is impossible to make a perfect parser. It should uderstand whether you have written sound effects, gibberish, english or obscure olde english – even what you mean when writing, since someone could write “blues” and think he’s writing a plural of “blue” and other one could be writing about music.
    Practically flawless parser could maybe be made, but it would still be a set of makeshift rules. Without parser the game is very pure and simple, kind of universal or natural challenge, and for me that’s the best way there is.

  • Patrick Moore at 2006-04-04

    As far as I know, the word “the” cannot be removed without removing “the” from “theatrical”, making it “atrical”. The reason for this is if the program know it must take out “t-h-e” if they are the first three letters, then it does so regardless, it does not know the actual word “the” just the letters “t-h-e”. The only way to remove only the word “the” and not “t-h-e” from “theatrical”. Would be if spaces were allowed between words, but then it would not be one-word answers.


  • Ed Collins at 2006-04-04

    Correct, Patrick. The logic would only remove t-h-e from the first part of your answer if there was a space after the letter E. That’s the only way it would really know. But that’s no problem and easy to do.

    If you want to submit the answer “theater” or “theatrical” or “thereafter” you can submit it just like that with no worry. The parser won’t remove any of those letters.

    “Where do you like to go on a date?” The two answers “the theater” and “theater” would be a match because the logic would remove the letters t-h-e- from the first answer, but NOT the letters t-h-e from the word “theater” in the first or the second answer.

    The same thing can be done with the letter “A”. “A Streetcar Named Desire” would match up with “Streetcar Named Desire” or “streetcarnameddesire”. (So if you DON’t want anything stripped, enter it this way: astreetcardnameddesire". The parser wouldn’t remove that first ‘a’ this way.)

    If this parsr logic were in place prior to one of our movie categories, the people would entered “The Wizard of Odds” & “Wizard of Odds” and “The Terminator” & “Terminator” would have matched up with each other. And don’t you agree that’s the way it should be? They’re thinking of the same movie!

    “What do little girls like to play with?” “doll”, “dolls” and “a doll” would all be matches with such a parser... as it should be... it’s the same “thought.” I STILL say you’re nitpicking (for lack of a better word) when you consider the plural of a word a completely different word.

  • ypercube ★ at 2006-04-04

    But is it not a diferent word?

    Because if one says that doll and dolls are essentially the same word – and I can’t really argue with that – another could say that theater, theatres, theatrical, theatrology, actor, acting, actress, all those 7 words (and many others) ring essentially the same bells on one’s mind.

    My point is, where do we stop? Only at plural and singular? Or at words with the same root? Or with same meaning? Or with similar meaning?

    So, the argument that different words are different words has some point, it makes things simpler for the rules of the game (and the proggamer by the way).

  • Ed Collins at 2006-04-04

    I’m glad you can’t argue that doll and dolls are essentially the same word because if you did, I’d reply that my Webster’s New World Dictionary doesn’t even LIST the word “dolls” at all! (For obvious reasons... it’s the same word as doll, only plurarlized.)

    However, theater & theatrical and actor & acting & actress all DO have separate listings in my dictionary. (Also for obvious reasons – because they are different words, each with their own definition.)

    So, to answer your question, I would stop with different words. That’s what this game is all about. If my word is different than yours, it should not be a match. But as my dictionary indicates, doll and dolls are NOT different words.

  • Figilano at 2006-04-05

    Will you ever stop repeating the very same point over and over? Dunno about the rest, but I got you by now (although I still disagree, as I discussed above with pizza/space/planets singular vs. plural is part of the guessing)... ;-)

    I think those responsible for the game (Richard or whoever) should be aware of the problem by now and should be able to read and evaluate all the points pro and con – and then decide what to do. That’s fine with me. What about you?

  • Paavo Pirinen at 2006-04-05

    Please don’t go on arguing what “word” means. As dictionaries indicate there are many meanings for that word. It could easily mean any specific set of characters (‘moooo’ being a word and ‘carrot’ and ‘carrots’ being two different words) or just those dictionary words different inflexions being different forms of a same word. Please.

  • Bill Collins at 2006-04-05

    This game used to be pretty fun, now the funnest part of it isn’t our scores but reading the treads. I go to the forum before even checking the scores now. “Thanks Guys!” Or should I say “Thank Guys!” Or “Thanks Guy!” Or maybe “Thank Guy!” or “A Thanks, Guys!” They are all different answers right?

  • Gregorlo at 2006-04-05

    The thank, bill ;-)

  • BIG BAD WOLF at 2006-04-05

    Bill – Sorry, even though you would think you should be able to say both, there is a limit placed on the game and you have to pick which “thanks” message you want to write.

    Of course to go back to how the game is suppose to be played, you should be able to use either or both if you want – but a limit was put into place and you can only pick one now. Sorry. :-)

  • Gregorlo at 2006-04-05

    you are slightly wrong, BBW. With current rules, he can choose ALL of the combinations, and they will be accepted. Please note there is an exclamation mark finishing all the expresions ;-)

  • Bill Collins at 2006-04-05

    Thanks Gregorio! You’re right. Just was just a short way to explaining what Ed was taking about.

  • BIG BAD WOLF at 2006-04-06

    Um no, with the current rules, you can’t choose EVERYTHING you think others might say – you have to pick between plural or singlular – you can’t put both. (What my original complaint was about)

    Example: even though you think people will say “Thanks guy” and “thanks guys” - you can not use both. There is a limitation on the game now where you have to choose one or the other, you can’t have both

    Other people have start complaining about other things, but my original complaint is that the game is suppose to be about what you think others will say, and it takes away from the game when you can’t put EVERYTHING you think others will say, you can only put about 1/2 of the things you think others will say.

    (Yes, probable too hard to program the system to make plural & singular words count as the same, so instead of doing it half-ass and just limiting people to put one or the other, I would rather have the old rules back where you can put both if you want – that way you will then be able to put down what you think others will think – which if I remember correctly is the purpose of the game, isn’t it?

    Gregorio – I’m glad we are on the same page thinking that the system should allow all those answers, but you are wrong – it is currently limiting you to only put about 1/2 of those.

  • Garyk Kaspik at 2006-04-06

    I think, there is no problem with “s”.
    The game has more possibilities and it is so more difficult, more interesting...
    No restriction and limitation concerning “s”.


  • CleverHunk steven cullum at 2006-04-06

    Kaspik,I agree,do we really want to look for ways to make the game easy?
    if we srat,how far do we go?
    dont we like the challenge?
    won’t it get lame if we make it too easy?
    c’mon brats,we got some neurons firing don’t we?

  • Bill Collins at 2006-04-06

    BBW, you are wrong!!! I can put them all down and I did it too. There is an exclaimation point at the end of each thus all entries end in that, not a “s”. Don’t believe me, try it!!

  • Gregorlo at 2006-04-06

    BBW – I’m glad you think the system limits you to only put about 1/2 of those, but you are wrong. The system only limits you to don’t write two words that only differ in the last letter being that an “s”. This is not the case with Bill’s answers: they all end with an exclamation mark.

    As Bill wisely state: try it!!

  • Bill Collins at 2006-04-06

    Thanks again Gregorio!!

  • BIG BAD WOLF at 2006-04-06

    So you are saying if I put car! and cars! - the system will accept both answers?

    And it will remove the !, and still count as 2 answers of car & cars?

    Well seems like a silly way to get “around” the system, but if that is true – that is good.

  • michael at 2006-04-06

    first question: Yes, both car! and cars! will be accepted.
    second question: No, nothing gets removed from your answers.

  • BIG BAD WOLF at 2006-04-06

    Well if the system is not going to remove the punctuation (the ! ), then we are back to sqare 1

    Because someone will answer car & cars, but they won’t be answering car! & cars!

    (Guess I will go and delete all my answers now. Was all exited that a way around the limit of picking a singular or plural word was found, but it was not really found. Shucks.)

  • Bill Collins at 2006-04-06

    Ya, They should drop all punctuation, like Ed also said a while ago, but they don’t. I got the what’s in your pockets answer wrong in the best empathy topic submission because of it.

  • Jeppe Snell at 2006-04-07

    I didn’t read the whole topic so someone might have suggested this already:

    Why don’t we just forget the singular/plural problem and make an agreement, that we all use for example the singular form of the word every time we have to make the choice between them. I don’t think it would be cheating, because we have been forbidden to use both forms anyway.

    What do you think?

  • Gregorlo at 2006-04-07

    Jeppe, you talk about a problem, but I see none. What is the problem?

  • Jeppe Snell at 2006-04-08

    Gregorio please, I feel that the rule (about not being able to put in both singular and plural forms) is also the spirit of the game now and we shouldn’t be trying to find a way to cheat it (which you seem to be trying). But we can try to find a way to live with it and make collective decisions which forms we will be prefering. I think the decisions should not be too definite (perhaps only to prefer e.g. singular over plural and maybe to prefer e.g. no article against “a” or “the”, but that’s all).

  • Jeppe Snell at 2006-04-08

    Hmm. Or perhaps only singular over plural (or the otherwise around), because that’s the only thing that’s restricted by rules.

  • Gregorlo at 2006-04-08

    well, Jeppe, you are trying to cheat, by a collective decision of what (or how) to write down words. You seem to posting a solution, but when doing so you must be sure that a)first, that you have a problem and b)your solution solves it.

    I don’t see there is a problem at all, so I can hardly see an actual solution.

  • Judy at 2006-04-09

    This thread topic is the problem. Jeppe, is trying to solve it.
    YOU cant’t SEE the problem? Where have you been for the last two months?

    I think he came up with a very good idea, for folks who want to play this game seriouslly.
    As for me, I opted out just after I got my (one) Ist Place possition, and remained un-happy with the lack of ability to put down what others WILL say
    (s vs. p) and then the fact that too many aren’t really answering the word topic with any serious thought.

    It seemed like the game was just becoming a waste of time. Maybe when BBW and ED C. come back, I might too.

  • Gregorlo at 2006-04-09

    judy, last two months i’ve been here continuously reading this post and watching the answers of everyday GoE expressions, but now all I can see is people trying to limit what people say (by convention or by rule) in a very Orwellian fashion. Have you read 1984?

    This is a game of guessing and empathy and since the beginning at a high level. I understand that if you (or whoever) are not empathic enough yuou try to limit the answers in order to fit in your universe of answers.

    But tell me, what will happpen when everybody write exactly the same answers?

  • Judy at 2006-04-09

    We will all show tremendous Empathy for one and other, and there will be a HUGE tie for first place.

    Back to the original situatiom: Many times we ARE submitting the same word or thought (carrot carrots, doll dolls, Bible The Bible) and folks are not getting credit for it, and as BBW has been saying, we have no option to duplicate those answers even when we feel ffolks will say them. How much empathy is that?

    Jeppe, was merely thossing out a suggestiom that we all use the singular when there is a fuzzy choice........

  • Bill Collins at 2006-04-09

    Hi Judy!!! Glad to see you again. Kind of boring around here without you and Ed and BBW. But we’ve all scored a little higher because of it! LOL. Anyways Gregorio was just trying to say that the answer isn’t getting everyone together to agree on what form of the word we are going to use. That would be defeating the whole purpose of the game. His case is as good as anyone’s. That’s the way it is, no plurals of the same word, so let’s just all forget it and have fun with the rules in play and deal with it. It just makes us think about which one would be best. I’m not taking sides because I can see the reasoning in both. So I can just try to have fun playing the way it is. I hope you come back as well as the others we’ve lost. The more intelligent people playing the better our odds of having the answers fit the suggetion more accurate.

  • Rex Moore ★ at 2006-04-10

    I hope somebody is writing a term paper or thesis on this game and all the discussion in the forum. Fascinating!

    Jeppe said: "Why don’t we just forget the singular/plural problem and make an agreement, that we all use for example the singular form of the word every time we have to make the choice between them."

    To counter Jeppe’s influence, why don’t we make an agreement to always use plural over singular when confronted with the choice! :-)


  • ypercube ★ at 2006-04-10

    To counter both influences, why don’t we agree to flip a coin when there a choice between singular and plural and choose singular for head and plural for tails?

    hehe....(heard from the deep sea) or should I say deep seas?

  • Pawel Grabowski at 2006-04-10

    maybe we should make some deal and make our own rule to use only singular form?

  • Figilano at 2006-04-10

    why don’t we ban every word that has both singular and plural forms and stick with those that haven’t? ;-)

    Imagine we installed filters to cut plural forms, than the “remove any 'the' or 'a' from the start of each word”. I bet the next suggestion will be: "I said ‘television’, but ‘tv’ scored higher! We need to ban abbreviations!"

    "I lost 29 points because some idiots thought that ‘autumn’ is the correct word for ‘fall’! We need to stick to american english only! After all, it’s the same thought, it should be counted as such!"

    No, actually, I don’t think it should.

    Seriously, as I have shown in an earlier post, on many occassions determining if more people will use singular or plural is part of the empathy. On those “biscuit” occasions where it is indeed a flip of the coin – heck, let’s flip, then. It’s just as bad as not being able to answer “blues” to “blue”. There are occasional drawbacks with every solution posted until now.

  • ypercube ★ at 2006-04-10

    I totally agree. (and my previous comment should be taken as a joke :)

  • Bill Collins at 2006-04-10

    I know, Let’s make a deal not to put any answers, that way we are ripping off all the people who played because now they can never get our points that we would be contributing to the game. He He He! That will teach them.

  • Gregorlo at 2006-04-10

    I agree with Figilano.

    ypercube, when you say “previous comment” you mean “estrictly previous”? or perhaps your assertion “I totally agree” should be taken as a joke? :-P

  • ypercube ★ at 2006-04-10

    haha, nice! I’ll leave it unanswered as food for your thought.

  • Judy at 2006-04-10

    Okay, as I understand the “New UN Official Rules” are:

    1. Always choose the singular
    2. Always choose the plural
    3. Flip a coin choose singular for head and plural for tails
    (or was that the other way around?)If you have no coin at hand, toss the cat. If she lands on her head, well, you know...singular, four feet = plurals.
    4. Avoid the word to cut down on the other players score
    5. Do not put a "THE: or an “A” in front of a answer,
    6. If there is any doubt, mispell them.....
    7. If the word for the day is a plural, use only plurals, if it is a singular,
    use only singulars
    8. If you run out of words leace 'em blank (I want to see “blank” win LOL)
    9. If the moon is more than half full – clearly plurals are called for! If it is just a sliver, DUH, singular is called for.

    Did I cover all choice suggestions?
    If not, I am sure the wise guys around here will come up with more.

  • Gregorlo at 2006-04-10

    you forgot mine!!

    10) no covention at all, since it is a way of cheating.

  • Figilano at 2006-04-11

    With yesterdays game, “cookies”, I put down “ingredients”.

    Since “ingredients” is basically the same thing as “milk”, “sugar”, “peanutbutter” and “flour” combined, I request getting 97 points for it, making me the winner.

    I mean, come on, it is the same THOUGHT, isn’t it? ;) I feel cheated out of my deserved points! ;))

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