We try AI

This month we have a second dose of fake words gleaned from actual games to expand your faux-cabulary. They’re non-scoring words that simply look like, with a little imagination, they could mean something. Today for a twist, we chose the words as usual, but we’re handing off the definition duties to that digital debutant in everyone’s newsfeed these days, ChatGPT by OpenAI. Although articles reacting to the service since its launch this month have ranged from dismissive to fawning to fearful, sometimes without a very measured perspective, we’re simply making use of it here for entertainment purposes. Still, this particular exercise may give a bit of a window into what makes ChatGPT tick. More than, say, ‘Write my paper on Grover Cleveland for me.’

Welp, here goes nothing

Beap: (verb) To heap or pile up a large quantity of something in a haphazard or disorganized manner. She beaped all of her clothes on the floor of her closet, making it difficult to find anything.
Irkade: (adjective) Describes a person or thing that is consistently annoying or irritating. Her constant complaining was really irkade and made it difficult to be around her.
Tark: (noun) A small, insignificant object or trinket that is collected or hoarded for no particular reason. He had a tark for every occasion, filling his shelves with an assortment of meaningless knick-knacks.

Spell the Coffee 241 points with PREADDED, words defined by AI

Grapin: (noun) The feeling of anxiety or fear that arises when one is unable to finish a task or project in a timely manner. The deadline was fast approaching and she was overwhelmed with grapin as she frantically tried to complete her report.
Pread: (verb) To anticipate or predict something in advance, often with a feeling of dread or unease. She preaded that the meeting would be a disaster, and sure enough, it turned out to be a complete mess.
Nutdead: (adjective) Extremely tired or exhausted to the point of feeling as if one’s brain has stopped functioning. After a long day at work, he collapsed on the couch, feeling nutdead and unable to think clearly.

Prompt service

We should say we gave ChatGPT a prompt asking for plausible definitions of just the made-up words, without providing parts of speech. Results, shown here as is, were quick. The wording of prompts does seem to matter. We made usage examples optional, but the AI stepped up in every case. It certainly got the idea down of fleshing out the meaning with examples. The definitions did seem to demonstrate a tendency for negative ideas, though that may have been a coincidence. Our reference to sniglets and The Dictionary of Obscure Sorrows may have influenced that as well. We didn’t explicitly mention an option for levity.

Tim Hunkin, are you listening?

We saw ‘irkade’ as more of a noun, like a mental blockade of annoying sabotage someone sets up around themselves. Or a vexing arcade of actual irksome things, like automatic faucet sensors in public restrooms that only dispense water after you’ve given up, stopping as soon as you reach back. Or impossible-to-open hard plastic packaging of small items like scissors, or plastic wrap that clings to nothing but itself. ‘Beap’ sounded like some kind of friendly headbutt. And ‘nutdead’ evoked what squirrels might call fusty old oaks: That tree’s nutdead to me. ‘Pread’ seemed spot-on in every respect. We pread to think our job is in jeopardy.

New edition

We also spied the suspiciously plausible ‘preadded’ in this game, and when we checked Wiktionary out of curiosity, guess what? It should have been preadded to our wordlist, but since it wasn’t, we’ve added it. Which brings us to Spell the Beans version 1.5.2, just released. In keeping with recent dictionary and word game changes, we’ve added a bevy of newly recognized words to the wordlist. Compiling wordlists and dictionaries is surprisingly difficult. As we’ve said, we prefer just getting scores for words we actually know and use, but we’re trying to satisfy the widest audience here.

So, welcome, embiggen, zonkey, eggcorn and spork. We’ve used two other new additions in this post alone: welp and headbutt. And here’s a shoutout (that word’s new too) to the unassuming but fully deserving hoglet. Kind of like an old-timer Hall of Fame inductee getting a lifetime achievement award. We’ll be adding more as we ascertain inflections (hangry is now there, but hangrier and hangriest? Headbutted? Probably, but we’ll wait until we’re sure). Also, previously when we expanded the wordlist, although newly added words were counted as scoring if you made them, they wouldn’t actually appear as ‘Ok’ if you searched for them in the search box. Now in 1.5.2 they show as ‘Ok’ when searching.


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