The Joking Computer
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You can try out the Joking Computer online NOW on this site.
Or you can download a copy to use on your own PC.

When does a word name part of another?

When making a joke, the computer may have to find a word that names part of another word. This kind of word is called a meronym (pronounced "mer-oh-nim").

This can be quite hard to do, as it uses a lot of general knowledge that people have but computer may lack. For example, if you are asked to name a part of a car, you may remember that a car has tyres, a steering wheel, a roof, doors, etc. How would a computer know this?

The Joking Computer uses WordNet, a database of English words developed by Princeton University. WordNet contains about
150 000 words, with short definitions.

In addition to being a dictionary, WordNet also knows about the relations between words. So, in WordNet you can find words that name part of another word. For example, WordNet knows 29 parts of a car.

Try completing the cross-word puzzle with words that are meronyms of "bathroom".

  Back to Stage 2: Choosing question parts


  To Stage 3: Putting it all together


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