Kake (nou) wrote,

Categorisation game followup.

The categorisation game post is here. A followup poll to this post, related to the question of how we categorise, is here.

And here are the categorisations that people made:

  • Answers relating to meaning:

    • Long: eel, machine-gun, Satanist, stalactite. Not long: deerstalker, gearstick, headlight, key. (fluffymormegil)

    • Likely to be used in a drive-by shooting/are useful in a car/belong on an armoured jeep: gearstick, headlight, key, machine-gun. Not: deerstalker, eel, Satanist, stalactite. (bopeepsheep, rjw1, sion_a)

    • Things that would not be out of place in a car: eerstalker, gearstick, headlight, key. Things that would be surprising if found in a car: eel, machine-gun, Satanist, stalactite. (nou)

    • Things that I am sure I have seen in real life in the past three months: eel, gearstick, headlight, key. Things that I'm sure I haven't seen in the past three months, or that I can't be sure of: deerstalker, machine-gun, Satanist, stalactite. (nou)

    • Things that are often or usually attached to other things: gearstick, headlight, key, stalactite. Things that aren't: deerstalker, eel, machine-gun, Satanist. (nou)

    • Things that may be made in an engineering workshop/tools/mechanical: gearstick, headlight, key, machine-gun. Not: deerstalker, eel, Satanist, stalactite. (imc, nou, valkyriekaren)

    • Things that are held with the hand: deerstalker, gearstick, key, machine-gun. Things that are not generally held: eel, headlight, Satanist, stalactite. (nou)

    • Complex systems: eel, headlight, machine-gun, Satanist. Simple objects: deerstalker, gearstick, key, stalactite. (j4)

    • Things which are normally made of metal or have metal components: gearstick, headlight, key, machine-gun. Things which aren't/don't: deerstalker, eel, Satanist [piercings don't count!], stalactite. (j4, lnr)

    • Things you can put things in: deerstalker, eel, machine-gun, Satanist. Not: gearstick, headlight, key, stalactite. (nou)

    • Things that are likely to make an audible noise when used: gearstick, key, machine-gun, Satanist. Things which aren't: deerstalker, eel, headlight, stalactite. (j4)

    • Things that emit things: eel, headlight, machine-gun, Satanist. Things that don't: deerstalker, gearstick, key, stalactite. (nou)

    • Things that a person might go out and buy for themselves to use directly: deerstalker, eel, key, machine-gun. Things that are not bought, or are generally only bought on behalf of someone else or paid for as part of a service: gearstick, headlight, Satanist, stalactite. (nou)

    • Would cause alarm if suddenly come face-to-face with: eel, headlight, machine-gun, Satanist. Not so potentially alarming: deerstalker, gearstick, key, stalactite. (bopeepsheep)

    • Things that could be used as clubs: gearstick, headlight, machine-gun, stalactite. Things that couldn't: deerstalker, eel, key, Satanist. (nou)

    • It is theoretically possible to become impaled on: gearstick, key, machine-gun, stalactite. Not impalable: deerstalker, eel, headlight, Satanist. (bopeepsheep) (Not even a male Satanist? :) )

  • Answers relating to the form of the words:

    • Words formed from two distinct English words: deerstalker, headlight, gearstick, machine-gun. Not: eel, key, Satanist, stalagmite/stalactite. (bopeepsheep, imc, j4, lnr, sion_a, valkyriekaren)

    • Contain the letter "s"/contain the letters "st": deerstalker, gearstick, Satanist, stalactite. Don't: eel, headlight, key, machine-gun. (lnr, sion_a)

    • Contain the letter "g": gearstick, headlight, machine-gun, stalagtite [sic]. Don't:: deerstalker, eel, key, Satanist. (lnr)

    • Contain three different vowels: gearstick, headlight, machine-gun, stalactite. Don't: deerstalker, eel, key, Satanist. (lnr)

    • First 3 letters have 2 vowels: deerstalker, eel, gearstick, headlight. Not: key, machine-gun, Satanist, stalagtite (lnr)

    • Contain three syllables: deerstalker, machine-gun, Satanist, stalactite. Contain fewer than three syllables: eel, gearstick, headlight, key. (nou, sion_a)

    • Contain the same vowel twice: deerstalker, eel, Satanist, stalactite. Don't: gearstick, headlight, key, machine-gun. (lnr)

    • Appear later than the word "jam" in a dictionary: key, machine-gun, Satanist, stalactite. Appear earlier: deerstalker, eel, gearstick, headlight. (imc) (who I feel is scraping the bottom of the jam-jar here)

  • Dodgy answers:

    • Things that move quickly or slowly: deerstalker, eel, key, machine-gun. (vinaigrettegirl) (I just plain don't understand this answer.)

    • Things that are a specific type of something more general (hat, fish, gun, person): deerstalker, eel, machine-gun, Satanist. Things that can't be so easily put into a category: gearstick, headlight, key, stalactite. (nou) (You could say that a stalactite is a sort of rock formation, but I liked this categorisation too much to not mention it.)

Comments included: What an utterly horrendous set. (Agreed, but I thought if I tried picking and choosing an "acceptable" set, the idea would be lost.) Funny how more of them were to do with orthography than meaning! Not considered over all answers given :) More on this below.

Categorisation of the categorisations

The non-dodgy answers fell cleanly into two divisions, as you can see above. What other possible divisions of this set of categorisations are there? What other possible divisions of any set of such categorisations are there? At some point, is it going to be interesting to look at categorisations of categorisations of categorisations (for example, ontological vs orthographical == objective, "worth" == subjective)?

Almost all of the words were only used in one sense. I did consider "eel" as a foodstuff (things I have seen) as well as an animal (things you can put things in, things that emit things). I tried to use "key" in the musical sense but failed.

"Worth" of the categorisations

I feel that some of the categorisations are "better" than others, but I can't necessarily articulate why.

I value the ontological categorisations more highly than the orthographical ones, and in fact I only bothered to come up with one orthographical one. This is perhaps because ontological categorisations are more likely to be portable across languages (that's likelihood not definiteness - some words are untranslatable, and for example the categorisations that rely on eel being a foodstuff will not work in languages which have a different word for eel-as-animal and eel-as-food).

I liked my statement of the three-syllable categorisation better than I liked Sion's, and I liked Sion's statement of the "contains s/st" categorisation better than I liked LNR's - in each case because the boundaries of the category were being drawn more tightly.

I think I need to go read Women, Fire, and Dangerous Things again, if I can find it.

Poll #351551 Shall we play again?

Shall we play again?


I didn't play last time because...

I couldn't be bothered
It didn't look fun
I couldn't come up with any answers
I could only come up with a few answers and I was worried I'd look stupid
I was too busy and then I forgot about it
I didn't understand it
I thought I'd wait until you did it again with less icky words

Your commentary in this post was...

Dunno, I skipped over it
Copied out of a book, go on, admit it
Just what I needed on a Friday afternoon
Thought-provoking, and I am just about to write you a highly interesting comment
Thought-provoking, and I would write you a highly interesting comment, but I'm just off to the pub so please poke me later

Tags: livejournal games

  • Life after Bloglines

    Just in case there are any other OS X users out there who don't get on with Google Reader, and are sorry to see Bloglines shut down... I've been…

  • GPS devices?

    Hello. I'm looking for a GPS device, as inexpensive as possible. I asked martling and he said my best bet was probably a Garmin eTrex,…

  • Remapping a function key in OS X.

    Can someone tell me how to remap, say, F11 so that whenever I press it, it tells VLC to pause the thing it's playing, regardless of whether VLC is…


Comments for this post were locked by the author