Generate Word Lists?

Posted on 2004-11-08
Last Modified: 2010-05-18
It's pretty difficult to find a more fitting section to ask this question.
I'm trying to make a program that will generate a word search puzzle, but I'm obviously not planning to type up a word list of most common English words myself. Where do I go to get word lists of most common words? Or some program that generates word lists to my liking, depending on categories/length/etc.?
Anything would help.
Thank you.
Question by:DeuceEE
    LVL 21

    Accepted Solution

    I just googled "most common english words" and got this:
    LVL 8

    Expert Comment

    Or you could go for a more specific list with puzzle-ish words:
    LVL 1

    Author Comment

    Thanks a lot for this quick reply. That's why I use Experts Exchange.

    I actually ran into these links on my search, but the problem is that they're pretty much EVERY word of English. I don't want that. I want words that are most common, and predictible. In one of these lists, I found that there is an English word "abab". That's so unpredictable.
    The first link is more of what I want. Common words. But they're only 1000 words, and they're uncategorized.

    Any ideas?
    LVL 31

    Expert Comment

    What would be good would be to write a little app to "scrape" words from literary web sites, and then put each word, when found into place in a frequency histogram.  You probably wouldn't be interested in words of three or less letters, so you could throw those words away.  You then cream off a random selection of words that fit within a 90%-10% band of popularity and use these words (so ruling out words like abab).  Categorising words would be difficult.  If you were doing a word puzzle with the topic "food" then it would be impossible to produce an automatically constructed list that guaranteed each word in it would be related to food.
    LVL 21

    Expert Comment

    Here's what I would do:
      1) Take one of the bigger word lists (I found one with 3000 words)
      2) Build a Excel spreadsheet with popularity and word (Cut and past word list pages into excel)
      3) Add a column that computes word length
      4) Sort by word length and delete ALL of the words less than 3 characters (Maybe even 4 or 5)
      5) Sort by popularity again and add another column which is the category
      6) Start categorizing the words until you have a big enough list
    LVL 1

    Expert Comment

    This is the best resource I've found on the net, and I write programs for word games as well.
    LVL 8

    Expert Comment

    that's a nice one, bookmarked!

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