What word was it?
I can't remember. It was a word, though, that the only difference in the singular and plural was that final "s" at the end... In my case, the teacher swore she had not said the "s" for the plural word. I was in no position to argue, and as I noted... it was really on me for not verifying by asking her to repeat the word a couple of times.
Her answer didn't change the meaning.
It's a silly game show and they got all exact.
If a Bostonian added an "h" to the word "park" would they say wrong?
They probably should... and it is a silly game show. Sometimes the puzzle is a slang or vernacular version and in those cases people have gotten the puzzle wrong by pronouncing letters that weren't there in the slang variant too. It cuts both ways.
It's not about meaning. It's about correct spelling and enunciation.
A Boston accent doesn't change how the word is spelled they way leaving a letter off does.
I remember back in the early-to-mid 1980s Chuck Woolery had a "Scrabble" game show. I watched it during breaks from school or days off. It was on NBC I believe.
Originally the show was played with two people... picking 2-at-a-time letter tiles and Chuck giving a pun-laden clue. So you had to figure out the double-meaning in the pun because sometimes one of your two letters wasn't in the word and you would lose a turn.
BUT... the kicker... to solve the puzzle you not only had to say the word BUT also spell the remaining missing letters...
So... if the visible puzzle was "D_N_E_" and the clue pointed you to guess "DANGER"... you also had to spell the missing letters "AGR" in order to win the round.
The funniest episodes were when neither person could spell... and they would have to keep playing and picking tiles even though they both knew the word but neither could spell it... and Chuck would know they had pulled up "stoppers" and were going to lose their turns... and the frustration would be right there in his voice and on his face.
That show got retooled pretty quickly to drop the spelling requirement because it literally killed the pace of the game given the caliber of contestants they were inviting.