# What is an Introspective Word™?

This is in the spirit of the What is a Word/Phrase™ series started by JLee with a special brand of Phrase™ and Word™ puzzles.

If a word conforms to a special rule, I call it an Introspective Word™.

Use the following examples below to find the rule.

Introspective Words™ Not Introspective Words™
BRIEF LONG
CLEAR FUZZY
COMMON RARE
COMPLETE INCOMPLETE
ELOQUENT MOVING
ENGLISH FRENCH
ESOTERIC SECRET
ISOGRAM PANGRAM
MEANINGFUL RANDOM
NOUN VERB
SIMPLE COMPLEX
UNAMBIVALENT CONFUSED
UNHYPHENATED HYPHENATED
WEE LARGE

And, if you want to analyze, here is a CSV version:

Introspective Words™,Not Introspective Words™
BRIEF,LONG
CLEAR,FUZZY
COMMON,RARE
COMPLETE,INCOMPLETE
ELOQUENT,MOVING
ENGLISH,FRENCH
ESOTERIC,SECRET
ISOGRAM,PANGRAM
MEANINGFUL,RANDOM
NOUN,VERB
SIMPLE,COMPLEX
UNAMBIVALENT,CONFUSED
UNHYPHENATED,HYPHENATED
WEE,LARGE

• introspective leads me to think that its something to do with the words themselves, but more in the middle of them - like the middle letters form words or something Aug 24 '16 at 18:06
• Assuming MOehm's answer is right, very clever. Nicely worked out and presented! Aug 24 '16 at 19:08
• I like how there is a CSV version that you can run your analysis programs on to lead you down the garden path. Aug 24 '16 at 20:00
• Yay this series makes a comeback! Aug 24 '16 at 20:06
• Does the order the words are listed in matter, for example is "brief" the introspective version of "long" or is there no relationship between "brief" and "long"? Aug 25 '16 at 7:17

I think that Introspective Word™ is another name for ...

... autological word, a word that describes a property that it has or, more or less, a word that describes itself.

For example:

"Brief" is a short word, but "long" isn't a long word. "Noun" is a noun, but "verb" isn't a verb; it's a noun, too. "English" is an English word, but "French" isn't a French word and so on.

Some cases are a bit more complicated, but they work, too: "Simple" is a simple word, but the word "complex" itself isn't complex. Both "unambivalent" and "confused" are unambivalent; both "meaningful" and "random" are meaningful and both "complete" and "incomplete" are complete. I'm not so sure about "eloquent" and "esoteric", though.

• I dunno, if "verbing weirds language" I think it's fair to say that 'conjugation verbs nouns' and therefor verb is a perfectly valid verb :) Aug 24 '16 at 18:34
• @Sconibulus: You're right, the online OED has it as "Use (a word that is not conventionally used as a verb, typically a noun) as a verb". But for the sake of this answer, let's say that the usual use of "verb" is as a noun. (It's interesting that the noun/verb line is the only one that doesn't use adjectives.) Aug 24 '16 at 18:41
• That wasn't a serious objection, more of an excuse to reference Calvin and Hobbes than anything else Aug 24 '16 at 19:48
• I used the Wiktionary list as a source so there's a grain of salt in its value. Esoteric is a not a word I hear used often although its meaning is typically understood. Eloquent was a bit of a stretch but I liked how it's a synonym with moving when describing a speech but their other definitions are where the autological / heterological differences arise: "clearly expressing or indicating something" vs. "in motion". Aug 24 '16 at 19:51
• @Sconibulus The source I used does list verbify which was moved to "Other parts of speech" on 2005-07-12 because, I presume, the editors weren't sure what to do with it. Aug 24 '16 at 19:54