Note: There are some rude words in this question.

There's an implicit puzzle in posed in this classic Monty Python sketch (you can also ready the script online).

Various words are described as being 'woody' or 'tinny', and one is described as being 'PVC'.

Here are some woody words:

  • Gorn (possibly Gone)
  • Sausage
  • Seemly
  • Prodding
  • Vacuum
  • Bound
  • Vole
  • Caribou
  • Intercourse
  • Pert
  • Thighs
  • Botty
  • Erogenous Zone
  • Ocelot
  • Wasp
  • Yowling

Here are some tinny words:

  • Litter bin
  • Newspaper
  • Antelope
  • Recidivist
  • Tit
  • Simpkins

This one is PVC:

  • Leap

So here's the question, what makes a word woody, and what makes it tinny? or even PVC? I'd prefer some kind of rule which can be used to categorise words into one of these categories.

Here's some words to test your rule on, tell me which category they belong to and why?

  • Guildford
  • Godalming
  • Artichoke
  • Trigonometry
  • Brigand
  • Fox
  • Bookworm
  • Gaggle
  • $\begingroup$ I doubt there's an actual answer. You'd have to explain the thought process of the writers, which would be impossible in SE format. $\endgroup$
    – Deusovi
    Sep 6 '15 at 14:24
  • $\begingroup$ I'm more interest in the thought processes of puzzle enthusiasts. There's definitely a few plausible answers, and more than one process you could use to arbitrarily categorise words. $\endgroup$
    – AJFaraday
    Sep 6 '15 at 14:26
  • $\begingroup$ If i'm understanding it, woody words flow naturally on/from the tongue into speaking and tinniy words carry a harsher sharper forced quality. Think of it like tapping a wood or metal surface with your fingernail. So pvc if the reference means plastic, would be words that lack in body of sound and come off as dull or plunky. Hum into the body of a violin and you'll here woody, hum into a metal pot and you'll here tinny, hum into a tupperware piece and you should hear pvc. That's my guess. $\endgroup$
    – moonbutt74
    Sep 6 '15 at 17:23
  • $\begingroup$ Could you edit to say that you would like people to describe their thought processes? Maybe mention phonetics, rhythm, meaning, how they might play a role in a good answer? There must be a way to repackage the question to make it on-topic. But I don't like the list at the end, because a good rule, or something similar to the intended rule if there was one, need not be applicable to all words or to those that you list. @Moonbutt74 - I don't understand your first sentence - sorry. $\endgroup$
    – h34
    Sep 7 '15 at 20:30
  • $\begingroup$ I think you could probably discard the "PVC" word thing, with a sample of exactly 1 its safe to say it was just a throw away gag. What I find interesting in this is , you can watch the skit and walk away with a sense that you could indeed identify a woody vs tinny word. The question is, how? $\endgroup$
    – Shayne
    Feb 26 '19 at 5:59