Grrrrrr – Scrabble ignoramuses, keep your traps shut

Grrrrrr – Scrabble ignoramuses, keep your traps shut

Grrrrrr – Scrabble ignoramuses, keep your traps shut

Grrrrrr – Scrabble ignoramuses, keep your traps shut

I need a rant. Last night when Mrs MSE and I were on one of our Scrabble dates (2for1 restaurant voucher and Travel Scrabble – I know how to show a girl a good time), an American chap at the next table leant over and said: "You shouldn’t be allowed to use those silly words; you should only use normal words."

People seem to have an inherent need to interfere in Scrabble and this is quite a common comment. Luckily, he said it with a twinkle in his eye, or I’d have told him to bog off.

It’s the frustrating lack of logic in this sentiment that gets my goat. Please tell me what a ‘normal word’ actually is – a doctor may use zygote in everyday speech, a healer chi and a classicist xi. 

With such a discontinuity of vocabularies we therefore need to find a way to police ‘normality’. You could play to the lowest common denominator, leaving the board filled with the, cat, sat, on and mat. 

Or, how about this: you could consistently define all the permissible words somewhere – perhaps in a manual? Now that’s a clever idea. Why don’t we call it a dictionary? Then Scrabble players could refer to it to see what a word is, and if they want to improve, they could learn more words like AE, AA, QI, QAT, JO, ZO that weren’t in their particular lexicon when they started.

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