Michael and I have been playing Scrabble for over 20 years. Scraps of paper jumbled in the tattered box hold all the scores.
We are well matched and for the last few years have played a very friendly game. If we aren’t sure if our hopeful arrangement of letters is a word, we look it up before putting tiles down. Our latest cheat is to keep a list of acceptable two letter words handy. I guess we could memorize them, but we value creativity over recall. Knowing that er, re and ae are acceptable opens up a lot of big plays.
We used to be purists. Don’t play words you don’t already know and can’t use in a sentence. But it’s fun to take a reasonable stab. Jxawlu? Probably not gonna fly though it could be a bird and wow imagine it on a triple. But sortine? That’s using some lexical? phonemic? knowledge. If it’s a word, you score points and learn something new. (Alas, not a word. Turns out I could have played stonier, tersion or a few other words I don’t know.)
My lopsided victory tonight was due in part to lopsided luck with letter selection. We abide by the code of not belly aching about what we pull from the bag, but a few rounds of aeeiouu can be frustrating. (I guess we could make a list of vowel heavy words but we are already so lax…) The good thing about playing for 20 years is knowing the luck tends to even out.
But I will also take credit for skill. Made some clever plays and eventually dropped a seven letter (rations).
ugh I’m tired
I wanted to say something about Charles and Emma Darwin’s backgammon games (they also kept the scores) and old baseball rivals. ( Cubs and Pirates have played over 2500 games since 1887.)
But maybe another day. Zzzzz