Note: This article is specific to the original Alphabear game. If you are playing Alphabear 2 (a.k.a., Alphabear: Words Across Time), please click here to see the corresponding article for Alphabear 2.
Note: Alphabear is currently an English word game. Some non-English loanwords are in the dictionary, but in general you shouldn't expect to play non-English words.
Why is this "word" allowed?
Possibly because we made a mistake, but probably because someone thinks this word is allowable. Please use this tool to determine what several other popular word games including Scrabble and Words With Friends think about the word in question (use the magnifying glass in the upper-right corner to open a search box, then type your word in there):
This tool usually shows that Alphabear's dictionary isn't the only dictionary in which a word is/isn't allowed. If one or more of the other word games allows a word, it's likely that Alphabear does, too.
Why isn't my word allowed?
The following are some reasons why a word might not be allowed (i.e., why it's not in the Alphabear dictionary). Note that most of the rules are standard rules in other word games such as Scrabble and Words With Friends.
- You might be spelling it incorrectly. For example, entering ARTIC (incorrect) rather than ARCTIC (correct). Please confirm the correct spelling in a real dictionary before filing a complaint.
- It is a word that must always be capitalized. (Proper nouns fall into this category. So do some words derived from proper nouns.)
- For example. "Washington" must always be capitalized and thus is not allowed.
- As a counterexample, "tom" can be used in lowercase when it means "the male of a species" (e.g., "a tom turkey"); thus it is acceptable even though it is very commonly used capitalized as a man's name.
- It is an abbreviation. For example, "Mr." is short for "mister."
- It is an initialism (the "word" is really the starting letters of a longer phrase). For example, "DVR" is short for "Digital Video Recorder."
- It is an acronym (like an initialism, but you pronounce it all together rather than pronouncing individual letters). For example, "NATO" is short for "North Atlantic Treaty Organization."
- Exception: There are some words that entered the language as acronyms, but have since become regarded as non-acronyms. Two examples are "laser" and "scuba." Such words are allowed.
- The word is not part of the English language. Alphabear is currently an English word game.
- It is a loanword--a word or part of a phrase borrowed from another language that has not yet been fully accepted as a part of the English language. E.g., "quo" is a Latin word and is not accepted, despite its use in the Latin phrases "status quo" and "quid pro quo" which are commonly recognized by English speakers. Note that our dictionary tends to allow more loanwords than do some other word game dictionaries.
- It requires an apostrophe. For example, "they're" requires an apostrophe, so THEYRE is not allowed.
- It requires a hyphen. For example, "yo-yo" requires a hyphen, so YOYO is not allowed.
- It requires a space. For example, "table tennis" requires a space, so TABLETENNIS is not allowed.
- In most cases, the space is a separator between two words, so one or both of those words might be acceptable by themselves. E.g., TABLE by itself is allowed, as is TENNIS, since they are words that can stand alone.
- It might not be a "real word". For example, "dinglehopper" is not a real word, despite the fact that many people have seen the relevant movie and know what a dinglehopper is.
- The word has a Q not immediately followed by a U. E.g., QI and SUQ. These may otherwise have been legitimate words, but since Alphabear only has a "Qu" tile and not a plain Q tile, it is impossible for these words to be played.
- It is only one letter in length. Alphabear requires each word played to be a minimum of two letters.
- It is more than fifteen letters in length. This seems to be an upper limit among word game dictionaries, which is not surprising since Scrabble is an important game in the word game genre and it is not possible to play words longer than fifteen letters on a Scrabble board.
Please use this tool to determine what several other popular word games including Scrabble and Words With Friends think about the word in question (use the search box in the upper-right corner):
This tool usually shows that Alphabear's dictionary isn't the only dictionary in which a word is/isn't allowed. If all of the other word games don't allow a word, it's likely that Alphabear thinks the same.
Are there exceptions to these rules?
Beginning in game version v01.02.00, we have added to the dictionary some words that break the rules in the previous section. For example, as of version v01.02.00 you can play days of the week (e.g., MONDAY) even though these words must always be capitalized. You can read more here about the exceptions we allow.
Can I request a change to the dictionary?
If you'd like us to make a particular change to the Alphabear dictionary (perhaps even adding some words that break the above rules), please email firstname.lastname@example.org with the word and your justification for it.
If you are going to request that a particular word be added, please look it up somewhere first to confirm that you are spelling it correctly. Likewise, if you are going to request that a particular word be removed, please look it up somewhere first to be sure that you aren't ignorant of an alternative meaning.
The dictionary is definitely wrong on this particular word
If you're certain that our dictionary is wrong, please email email@example.com a screenshot of your game allowing or not allowing you to play the word. Also, please confirm the spelling in a real dictionary first before emailing us so as to not incorrectly burden our support personnel. You might also want to look up the word on this website (use the search box in the upper-right corner) to see what several other word games think about the acceptability of the word:
This tool usually shows that Alphabear's dictionary isn't the only dictionary in which a word is/isn't allowed.