Explicitly show block list after reviewing an item?

I’ve occasionally tried to add a user synonym to items that won’t have any effect because it’s on the block list. This is confusing when it happens, but indicates that the smart people here don’t want us to enter a synonym known to be incorrect.

This almost always happens when I’m slightly mistaken in my understanding of an item.

Since the approved meaning for an item is usually a single English word that can be interpreted multiple ways, I think it might help my understanding If I could also see the list of meanings explicitly blocked. It would help me better understand the actual, conceptual meaning if I knew a few counter-examples.

That is, after answering an item, I can twirl open the eye icon to show the Meanings, User Synonyms, Part of Speech, and Related Kanji on the left-hand side. I’d like to add a section for the explicitly blocked meanings as well. Perhaps titled something like “Incorrect Meaning”

I’m not sure how long the block lists are, but hopefully there are few if any entries.


I’m guessing it’s pretty long, since there are always new typos being discovered that WK has accepted, so new items are added to the block list each update basically.

From a pedagogical point of view, learning through seeing what something isn’t is a known trap for learning the wrong thing. That’s just how our brains are wired it seems. That “not” or “isn’t” just have a tendency to be ignored, and you memorize X as the answer anyway.

Regardless, of whether it’s a good idea to study items that way or not, getting a clear warning from WK that a synonym is indeed on the blocklist seems prudent, so the user knows from the get-go that they’re on the wrong track by wanting to add that synonym.


That makes sense.

I’m just on a neverending quest to clarify my understanding of the meaning of each item. Context sentences, etc., are by far the best way, but I was hoping this might provide further clarification.

It’s definitely important to list the correct meaning most prominently. I just wondered if it would be helpful to sometimes include more info around which sense of the English meaning was intended (by explicitly listing the meanings that weren’t intended).

Since, by definition, words on the block list can’t be accepted as an answer, I’m not too worried about memorizing the wrong thing.

That does seem quite desirable, regardless. It might be easier to implement, too: additional actions during the user synonym update vs. adding a display field and potentially sorting/filtering the blocklist on every item.

Thanks for the thoughtful reply!

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I also think that the user should get warned immediately when they try to add a blacklisted synonym. This feature was actually already suggested to the team last year, but I guess their priorities are currently somewhere else.

And in a different thread, they said:

In another thread, you have said that you plan to write a userscript yourself. So maybe you would also like to implement this functionality as a userscript? In that case, you could use this other script as a basis. It already uses wkof, you would just have to modify it to show the blacklist entries. You would have to filter the current item’s data.auxiliary_meanings for the elements with type === "blacklist". (In case you want the script, but don’t want to implement it yourself, I can also modify it and post it here)


I think it’s a really good idea in general, but what might trip you up seeing the block list is that sometimes the blocked items have nothing to do with the original, or even approximate meaning of the word. Whenever there is a content update, I skim through the update post from Jenny and see blocked words which might come from the fact that a lot of people confused one of the kanji in the word in a specific way, but enough people did it (and reported it?) so the word finally got added to a block list.

So I think it might make more sense to do a dictionary search of a word or a Google search to find out how it’s used in context :slight_smile: .

What I usually do for new items is a dictionary search and add synonyms which to me feel more natural and still align with the meaning of the word.

Also, do you have specific words in mind so we could group-thesaurus-brainstorm? :smiley:

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Yup. I think you’ve clearly articulated a serious problem: the block list has items utterly unrelated to the actual meaning. That means displaying the block list is pointless.

After further thought, I withdraw the suggestion. Even if I were to write a userscript to do so, it would effectively be like saying “This item does not mean ‘purple aardvark’” after every review.

Wait a minute, maybe the world DOES need that userscript … :wink:

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I also always use Yomichan before adding a user synonym. I really should add some other dictionaries, though.

(はな)れる was what triggered the thought, but it was a bad example anyway. I had previously added a synonym that JMdict lists as a correct meaning (“to be separated” while WK wants “to separate”), but apparently I’d never actually tried giving that answer before: today it disallowed it and I was surprised to find it as a user synonym.

There needs to be a Wanikani equivalent of Godwin’s Law: All threads on this discourse eventually derail toward discussions about transitivity pairs.

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I’m getting a dejavu :joy: . I swear we’ve talked about it before, because now I’m going to bring up 別れる, which apparently is also intransitive (who knew! :joy: ).

Ah, but I think for 離れる I have “to be apart” in Anki. I still haven’t unlocked this item in WaniKani, but for some reason I thought I did. The “to separate” is a little confusing, but the explanation is super clear: WaniKani / Vocabulary / 離れる

I’m not going to bring up the 他動詞 and 自動詞 stuff. 禁句!

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Sleeping on it, I thought about this as well. Basically, the “Worsts Typos”-thread is one way items gets added to the blocklist, when Mods are tagged. So,that means, 1 user have been up sleep reviewing :joy: and entering something weird into WK → weird typo gets added to block list.

So, the blocklist is not like a curated list of items that are “opposite” of the actual meaning. it’s likely full of weird gems of misunderstandings! :rofl: It’s just a way to handle how WK accepts typos to some extent.

Displaying the blocklist is likely going to be a bit like XD

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