Sorry I take that back! you can use a grep.
mySelection=app.selection.words; myWord=; app.changeGrepPreferences = app.findGrepPreferences = null; app.findGrepPreferences.findWhat = "[\\u\\l]+"; myWord=mySelection.findGrep(); alert(myWord.contents);
Em I fogot you wrote "Short of resorting to regex, is there away to return only the word?"
Many thanks the link explained what I thought was happening. I was going to explore grep, but thought I might be missing something and there was some DOM element I had missed. Thanks also for the script snippet you have done my work for me!
InDesign must do some sort of grep internally because if you highlight a word plus punctuation and attempt to add it to the dictionary, it strips off the punctuation.
Don't forget to mark as correct.
Just a little correction to the Grep
It should probably be
app.findGrepPreferences.findWhat = "[\\u\\l']+";
with the ' apostrophe added to the character class so you get grape's
P.s. Thanks for the "Correct" markup