As a writer, I find fonts are my friends. Vocabulary is my vocation. Words are my wheelhouse. If you want to play a game of Yahtzee, I’ll probably opt out. But if you’re up for a SCRABBLE challenge, I just might be your girl.
Did you know SCRABBLE fans can flaunt their finesse with 50 point words in SCRABBLE clubs? They can also get their game on at SCRABBLE tournaments. In fact, the North American SCRABBLE Championship will be held in Fort Wayne from Aug. 6-10.
SCRABBLE was created in 1933 by an out-of-work architect who longed for a word game with a score-keeping element. Legend has it, the architect, Alfred Mosher Butts of Poughkeepsie, New York, actually calculated the game’s letter values by studying the front page of The New York Times. Those values haven’t changed.
If wordsmithing is not one of your strong suits and you’re challenged to string some letters together in crossword fashion, here are some handy words to have up your sleeve. If you don’t use them in the game, throw them around in conversation. That’s the thing about words — you never know when or how they’ll come in handy!
• Za: Two-letter words can be just as useful as the seven-letter ones. “Za” is a slang word for “pizza.” I’ve never used the word. But since “Z” has a 10 point value in SCRABBLE, I’ll reconsider.
• Faqir: It’s a Muslim or Hindu holy man. In SCRABBLE, it’s a good way to use the letter “Q,” especially if there’s no “U” available to create easy words like “quiet” and “quest.”
• Sax: That pesky “X” is sometimes difficult to work with. “Sax,” a sword from ancient Scandinavia, can earn a player at least 19 points, the highest possible three-letter word score.
• Aa: Yes, it’s a word! It’s a form of solidified lava. The word may only get you two points, but it could help you win the game.
• Syzygy: Are you out of vowels? Consider this word which means “an alignment of heavenly bodies.” You’ll score at least 21 points.
• Yo: Not only is it an exclamation, it’s a legal SCRABBLE word. And, it’s a good way to use your “Y.” Plus, using this in conversation is a no-brainer!
Emily Schilling is the editor of Electric Consumer.