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If a phrase has a certain property, I call it an Uncopyrightable Word™.

In each of the sentences below, one word is an Uncopyrightable Word™ and one is not.

The sentences are for context only, and do not affect whether a word is an Uncopyrightable Word™.

  1. The forecast says it's going to (SNOW / RAIN) tomorrow.
  2. Your explanations always tend towards (HYPERBOLE / EXAGGERATION).
  3. The ideal political system is a (DEMOCRACY / REPUBLIC).
  4. The answer to your question is (YES / NO).
  5. His (NEIGHBOURLY / FRIENDLY) advice was well-received.
  6. I (CERTAINLY / DEFINITELY) don't think this puzzle is difficult.
  7. The (DUKE / BARON) had very good manners.
  8. The team worked with great (SYNERGY / RECIPROCITY).
  9. The winter (FESTIVAL / CELEBRATION) is one of the high points of the year.
  10. My favourite composer is (BACH / BEETHOVEN).

What makes a word an Uncopyrightable Word™?

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  • $\begingroup$ Five minutes! :D $\endgroup$
    – Deusovi
    Aug 11, 2015 at 19:49
  • $\begingroup$ A word that is property of the public domain? $\endgroup$ Aug 11, 2015 at 21:00
  • $\begingroup$ @Goinghamateur As I mentioned below, I considered calling it a Generic Word™ (and a Public Domain Word™), but I figured that would be a little too obscure. $\endgroup$ Aug 11, 2015 at 21:01
  • $\begingroup$ That would certainly doozy it up, I would be astonished if someone solved it and then again this place blows my mind every fifth puzzle... not©™? $\endgroup$ Aug 11, 2015 at 21:05
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    $\begingroup$ @Dave That was the main reason for using it here. But technically, there are longer ones. See puzzling.stackexchange.com/questions/17667 . $\endgroup$ Apr 8, 2016 at 16:22

2 Answers 2

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An Uncopyrightable Word™ is one that...

consists only of letters in the word UNCOPYRIGHTABLE.

So the Uncopyrightable Word™s are...

RAIN, HYPERBOLE, REPUBLIC, NO, NEIGHBOURLY, CERTAINLY, BARON, RECIPROCITY, CELEBRATION, and BACH.

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  • $\begingroup$ I thought the answer would be found quickly, but not that quickly! Good job! I thought about calling it a Generic Word™ instead, but I thought that would be a little too vague... $\endgroup$ Aug 11, 2015 at 19:50
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    $\begingroup$ Legend tells of a puzzle that someone was able to answer before Deusovi, but all historical records have been lost and only a myth remains. $\endgroup$ Aug 11, 2015 at 20:19
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    $\begingroup$ @GentlePurpleRain: In my defense, it seemed to me that using borders was cheating. $\endgroup$
    – Deusovi
    Aug 11, 2015 at 20:46
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    $\begingroup$ I so would have gotten this if I had not had to drive home from work immediately after seeing this puzzle! At least, that is what I will tell myself. :) $\endgroup$
    – JLee
    Aug 11, 2015 at 20:48
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    $\begingroup$ I guessed the answer just from seeing the title :-) $\endgroup$
    – xnor
    Aug 12, 2015 at 2:20
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An uncopyrightable word is a word which

can be spelled using only letters in 'uncopyrightable', so
RAIN, HYPERBOLE, REPUBLIC, NO, NEIGHBOURLY, CERTAINLY, RECIPROCITY, CELEBRATION, and BACH.

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