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In the spirit of the What is a Word™/Phrase™ series started by JLee, a special brand of Phrase™ and Word™ puzzles.


If a word conforms to a special rule, I call it an Amplified Word™.
Use the examples below to find the rule.

$$ % set Title text. (spaces around the text ARE important; do not remove.) % increase Pad value only if your entries are longer than the title bar. % \def\Pad{\P{0.0}} \def\Title{\textbf{ Amplified }} % \def\S#1#2{\Space{#1}{20px}{#2px}}\def\P#1{\V{#1em}}\ \def\V#1{\S{#1}{9}} \def\T{\Title\textbf{Words}^{\;\!™}\Pad}\def\NT{\Pad\textbf{Not}\T\ }\displaystyle \smash{\lower{29px}\bbox[yellow]{\phantom{\rlap{rubio.2018.03.05}\S{6px}{0} \begin{array}{cc}\Pad\T&\NT\\\end{array}}}}\atop\def\V#1{\S{#1}{5}} \begin{array}{|c|c|}\hline\Pad\T&\NT\\\hline % \text{ AID }&\text{ HELP }\\ \hline \text{ BYE }&\text{ WAVE }\\ \hline \text{ FOUR }&\text{ FIVE }\\ \hline \text{ MOAT }&\text{ TROUGH }\\ \hline \text{ PEAR }&\text{ SPEAR }\\ \hline \text{ SEAT }&\text{ CHAIR }\\ \hline \text{ SPAY }&\text{ NEUTER }\\ \hline \text{ CORED }&\text{ PARED }\\ \hline \text{ HOOPS }&\text{ RIMS }\\ \hline \text{ LEAST }&\text{ MOST }\\ \hline \text{ PEATS }&\text{ REPEATS }\\ \hline \text{ PROOF }&\text{ PROVE }\\ \hline \text{ RAIDS }&\text{ LOOTS }\\ \hline \text{ ROUST }&\text{ ROUSE }\\ \hline \text{ ROUTS }&\text{ BEATS }\\ \hline \text{ SHOOT }&\text{ LAUNCH }\\ \hline \end{array}$$

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

Amplified Words™,Not Amplified Words™
AID,HELP
BYE,WAVE
FOUR,FIVE
MOAT,TROUGH
PEAR,SPEAR
SEAT,CHAIR
SPAY,NEUTER
CORED,PARED
HOOPS,RIMS
LEAST,MOST
PEATS,REPEATS
PROOF,PROVE
RAIDS,LOOTS
ROUST,ROUSE
ROUTS,BEATS
SHOOT,LAUNCH

The puzzle satisfies the series' inbuilt assumption, that each word can be tested for whether it is an Amplified Word™ without relying on the other words.
These are not the only examples of Amplified Words™.

What is the special rule these words conform to?

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  • $\begingroup$ Are you certain ”BEATS” is not amplified? $\endgroup$ – Bass Feb 8 '18 at 5:28
  • $\begingroup$ @Bass Yes, I am sure. (But if that's the only word holding you up, maybe answer anyway.) $\endgroup$ – Rubio Feb 8 '18 at 5:30
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    $\begingroup$ Possible duplicate of What is a Versatile Word™? $\endgroup$ – glibdud Feb 8 '18 at 14:30
  • $\begingroup$ @glibdud - I don't think this is a dupe of that. At least spear, trough and chai (there are plenty more) would be in the left-most column if that were the case. $\endgroup$ – APrough Feb 8 '18 at 17:13
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    $\begingroup$ @APrough The accepted answer is essentially identical between the two questions. There may be errors in the examples of this one, which the answerer below mentions but the asker didn't address. $\endgroup$ – glibdud Feb 8 '18 at 17:15
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Starting with the reasoning.

All the amplified words are quite short. Usually that would be because the property is very rare, or that they need to be paired with other words of the same length.

In this case, I think it’s both:

An amplified word can have any one of their letters removed, and the remaining letters still spell a word. Without checking the dictionary for rare words, each amplified word has at least three such letters. With a dictionary, almost any letter can be removed.

Here's the complete list of the amplified words, after attacking them with a stack of encyclopaedias:

AID -> id (psychology term), ad, ai (a three-toed sloth)
BYE -> ye (old English), be, by
FOUR -> our, fur, for, fou (Scottish for drunk)
MOAT -> oat, mat, mot (a witty saying), moa (an extinct bird)
PEAR -> ear, par, per, pea
PEATS -> eats, pats, pets, peas, peat
RAIDS -> aids, rids, rads (dosage units), rais (old Portuguese money), raid
SEAT -> eat, sat, set, sea
SPAY -> pay, say, spy, spa
CORED -> ored (OOPS NOT A VALID WORD), cred, co-ed, cord, core
HOOPS -> oops, hops, hops, hoos (OOPS NOT A VALID WORD), hoop
LEAST -> east, last, lest, leat (a water trench), leas (grassland)
PROOF -> roof, poof, prof, prof, proo (used to stop a horse)
ROUST -> oust, rust, rost (obsolete form of roast, valid in Scrabble), rout, rous (OOPS NOT A VALID WORD)
ROUTS -> outs, ruts, rots, rous (OOPS I DID IT AGAIN), rout
SHOOT -> hoot, soot, shot, shot, shoo

The non-augmented ones don’t appear to have this property, except for

SPEAR -> pear, sear, spar, sper (to shut in), spea (genus of toads)
and
BEATS -> eats, bats, bets, beas (river in India), beat

Maybe I need some particular dictionary to get rid of those two?

EDIT: the dictionary suggested by M Oehm does indeed correctly classify SPEAR and BEATS as non-amplified. Unfortunately, it also does so for a couple of the words listed as amplified. See the edited list in the second spoiler tag for details.

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    $\begingroup$ FWIW, Beas and sper aren't valid Scrabble words, but rads, rais and proo are. $\endgroup$ – M Oehm Feb 8 '18 at 7:54
  • $\begingroup$ I had to read your answer several times to realize I have to apply the rule to all combinations. My first reading was that one application was sufficient. (Not sure if my words make sense, but I'm trying not to spoil) $\endgroup$ – Brian J Feb 8 '18 at 14:56
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    $\begingroup$ So an Amplified Word™ is the same as a Versatile Word™? $\endgroup$ – DqwertyC Feb 8 '18 at 18:14
  • $\begingroup$ ..So it would seem. How versatile. $\endgroup$ – Bass Feb 8 '18 at 18:39

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