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This is in the spirit of the What is a Word/Phrase™ series inaugurated by JLee with his original Phrase™ and Word™ puzzles.

If a word adheres to a certain rule, then I call it a Round Word™.

Use the examples below to find the rule.

$$\begin{array}{|c|c|}\hline \text{Round Word™}&\text{Not Round Word™}\\\hline \text{TEEN}&\text{TEXT}\\\hline \text{BUTTON}&\text{TENNIS}\\\hline \text{RADIO}&\text{CANOE}\\\hline \text{WEIRD}&\text{NORMAL}\\\hline \text{LAZY}&\text{BUSY}\\\hline \text{MORAL}&\text{POWER}\\\hline \text{BASSOON}&\text{WOODWIND}\\\hline \text{BATON}&\text{BETWEEN}\\\hline \text{NEUTRON}&\text{PROTON}\\\hline \text{PHYSICS}&\text{POETRY}\\\hline \text{MATH}&\text{SCIENCE}\\\hline \text{DEMOTE}&\text{CENSURE}\\\hline \text{BAROMETRIC}&\text{GEODESIC}\\\hline \text{BEGIN}&\text{FINISH}\\\hline \text{TOLD}&\text{SAID}\\\hline\text{CAT}&\text{DOG}\\\hline\end{array}$$

In case you want it in CSV:

Round Words™, Not Round Words™
TEEN, TEXT
BUTTON, TENNIS
RADIO, CANOE
WEIRD, NORMAL
MORAL, POWER
BASSOON, WOODWIND
BATON, BETWEEN
NEUTRON, PROTON
PHYSICS, POETRY
MATH, SCIENCE
DEMOTE, CENSURE
BAROMETRIC, GEODESIC
BEGIN, FINISH
TOLD, SAID
CAT, DOG

The puzzle relies on the series' inbuilt assumption, that each word can be tested for whether it is a Round Word™ or not on its own.

Clarification (Also a bit of a hint, hence the spoiler format. I went back and forth as to whether you needed to know this):

Most words (including all of the clue words) are definitively Round or Not Round. However, there are some words which could be either, based on the clue words. I call these words Oblong Words™. Your definition of Round might differ slightly from someone else's in whether or not it includes Oblong Words™. Either way is acceptable (as long as it's consistent).

A small hint based on the above:

Here are three Oblong Words™: RAGTAG, VINYL, DERAIL

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  • 1
    $\begingroup$ I have been looking at more of these, and it seems customary to have most if not all of the words be related to the corresponding one in the opposite column. I did this with some of my pairs, but in some cases, I chose a conceptually unrelated word with similar properties (like radio/canoe are both consonant, vowel, consonant, vowel, vowel). I am considering changing my list to make it more like the others. Should I do this or leave it as is? $\endgroup$ – Gabriel Burns Nov 4 '16 at 17:12
  • $\begingroup$ Both types of pairings - even intermingled - are common. I think the lists are fine as they stand. Whether the relation is by meaning or by word composition still maintains a sense of symmetry that is satisfying. Having said that, even a completely random assortment of words is fine and in some cases may be necessary; that doesn't necessarily detract from the puzzle, unless it's clear the puzzle setter just couldn't be bothered. $\endgroup$ – Rubio Nov 4 '16 at 17:25
  • $\begingroup$ I'm not familiar enough with this format to know whether the information I put under the spoiler tag is necessary or not. I appreciate any input from veterans in that regard. $\endgroup$ – Gabriel Burns Nov 5 '16 at 0:00
  • $\begingroup$ I am sensing... This might again be related to QWERTY? May be I am bad with geometry but some of these make my fingers create a circular kind of path on the keyboard. $\endgroup$ – Techidiot Nov 5 '16 at 1:40
  • $\begingroup$ @Techidiot is that a request for a hint (i.e. warm/cold) or just a musing? $\endgroup$ – Gabriel Burns Nov 5 '16 at 4:36
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A round word is a word such that:

If you put all letters of the alphabet on a circle, with alphabetic order and equidistance separation (on a regular 26-gone), the letters of a round word follow a path that is always clockwise (or anticlockwise) if you choose the shortest path between consecutive letters. For example, if you put all the letters clockwise, then RADIO is a clockwise round word, but BUTTON is an anticlockwise round word.

An oblong word is a word which:

contains consecutive letters that are 13 spaces apart in the circle (i.e. ROT-13 conjugates) and so there are two shortest parts between the points and one of them allow the sequence to be always clockwise (or anticlockwise).

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  • $\begingroup$ You should probably explain what makes words Oblong, too... $\endgroup$ – Gareth McCaughan Nov 5 '16 at 19:30

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