Error in lookup of words! Word games

11 replies. Last post: 2004-10-18

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Error in lookup of words!
  • Figilano at 2004-10-14

    Hi there,

    just got the message “JULY is not an english word” (tried severel times). Manual lookup on showed that it is, and it surely is in the dictionary… there must be something wrong with the lookup, then!

    Damn, that thing knows everything but not a simple months' name? :-P

    Maybe someone can fix it?

  • Nick Wedd at 2004-10-14

    “july” is not in the ENABLE word list used for GWG. This is not a mistake. Other month names, and names of days of the week, are not in the list either. I assume that they count as proper nouns and were excluded for that reason.

  • Figilano at 2004-10-14

    hm… according to the rules, “Player must create proper English word” - I can't see why weekday- or month-names are no english words (after all, they differ in other languages, therefore they are “really” english ;-), but thanks for clearing up the point with the exclude list. Didn't know such a list exists.

    Anyway, the message “… is no english word” is quite confusing, maybe it can be changed to “…is not allowed because…” to clear things up for unknowing players? And just out of curiosity - what are the basic guidelines that lead to a word being put on the exclude list?

  • Abigail at 2004-10-14

    There's no 'exclude' list. There is the “ENABLE” list, which is a public domain list used on this and other sites, for various word games. This site has nothing to do with the policy on deciding which words are on the list and which aren't. Littlegolem does not control the list. And in my experience, they haven't made any alterations to it (unlike for instance itsyourturn, who removed words like “tits” (while keeping “tit”) - I guess they don't like birds).

    Note also that “it's in the dictionary” isn't a useful argument. At best you could say is “it's in a dictionary” - some dictionaries have far less words than others. Now, you might argue about the quality of the ENABLE list, but there aren't many public domain lists containing English words out there.

  • Figilano at 2004-10-14

    No, my aim is not to argue over the topic, nor to point fingers or blame anybody for anything. I'd just like to understand the game… for example, in the very same game my opponent just came up with the “word” GAE which seems to be an acronym of some sort… and it was accepted by the program. It's kinda hard for me to understand what is accepted as “proper english word” and what is not, so I hoped there is some kind of “rulebook” for this.

    Anyway, it's apparently no mistake (as I thought), so pardon me for stating otherwise in the topic. But if I'll lose this particular game, I will blame it on the enable list. ;-)

  • Nick Wedd at 2004-10-15

    “Gae” is Scots dialect for “go”.

    If ye gae up to yon hill-tap,

    Ye'll there see bonie Peggy;

    She kens her father is a laird,

    And she forsooth's a leddy.

  • Tom Enrico at 2004-10-17

    I've also been somewhat frustrated by GWG's unpredictability. This discussion is the first that I've heard of this ENABLE list. In the messages GWG displays when it accepts words, it seems like it generally cites, so I thought that was a reliable site - i.e., if a word was listed there, and was not a proper name (person, place, etc.) or archaic form or something, GWG would accept it. However, I've just run into trouble with what I was certain would be an acceptable word. The letter formation in the game is GI*OUSES, and lists two possibilities – GINHOUSES or GILLHOUSES. However, GWG apparently recognized neither of these words, or even the singular forms.

    Meanwhile, it accepts GAE, an archaic Scottish form of go?? Seems pretty random.

    Since you can't test words during the bidding phase of the game, it would be nice if you could be certain the word you plan to open with will be accepted. What is the URL for this ENABLE list?

  • Gregorlo at 2004-10-17

    Hi, you can google around to find the list.

    ENABLE list is the acronym for: Enhanced North American Benchmark Lexicon

    good hunting!

  • Tom Enrico at 2004-10-17

    It's a North American lexicon, and it contains the word GAE? That must be why it's the “enhanced” North American lexicon, rather than the Standard North American Lexicon. (SNABLE?)

    Thanks for the recommendation on finding it with a search engine. For the benefit of any others, I will post the URL in this thread after I find it.

  • Tom Enrico at 2004-10-17

    OK, here's where the ENABLE list, which was apparently originally developed as an authoritative list for the game Scrabble, can be found. Click on the link you will find on this page, and you can save the list to your computer as a text file. It contains over 172,000 entries.

    At least now I can bid without wondering whether my word will work or not. Thanks.

  • Nick Wedd at 2004-10-18

    I believe - I could be wrong - that the version of the ENABLE list linked to from is not the one used here for GWG.

    That list is actually at It has 172,823 words. It does not include “wetsuit”. The list used here has, I think, 173,554 words, incliding “wetsuit”.


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