Monday, August 29, 2011


Not scrambling... Scrabbling.

You can find the game of Scrabble in many forms online. Recently, I came across it as "Words With Friends" on Facebook. I made the mistake of clicking on it to see what this game was all about, since I saw multiple friends playing it. I saw it was Scrabble and quickly clicked off. No thanks, no Scrabble for me.

But nooooo.... I couldn't get away from it so easily. Several friends sent "invitations" to games. Okay, I have this innate sentimentality about being there for friends. I hate to let friends down, even in something as simple as playing a game. So I would just play these two rounds and be done with it. I was okay with walking away as a two-time WWF winner and never playing again. (I won, but I also didn't really enjoy the victory.)

Ack! It was not so easy to walk away. I won those two games and got sucked into two more games with some serious WWF addicts. Maybe they're word-aholics. Strategists. On-line game lovers. Zealots. Who knows. All I know is that I am NOT addicted to this game. I am not still enjoying this.

Why not, you ask? I'm a writer, shouldn't I enjoy a word game? Not really.When I'm writing, I toil enough over words. I try to find the right word with the right meaning for the situation. I try to use kid-friendly words in my writing, and somewhat intelligent-sounding words in my work reports. I consider the tone, meaning, rhythm, and even the sound of the words when I write. If I'm going to struggle to find words, I at least want those words to contribute to a story in some way.

Scrabble is not really about words. It's about points. It's about placement. It's a strategy to put the right letters in the right place... but not really words. Yes, it helps to know if "hu" is really a word (it isn't), but there are so many programs and websites available to help you verify and spell words that you don't even really need to know the words. You just need to know where to plug your letters in correctly to maximize your points.

The one benefit of WWF that I've found so far: it does make you think about words. I've looked up plenty of non-words lately (like romula), and learned some new words too (like morula). (Morula is a stage of egg-division in an embryo, and is worth 30+ points if placed correctly.) Did you know that scrabbling is actually a word? To scrabble is to dig frantically, or to struggle for possession of something. Seems appropriate for this game--wouldn't you agree?

I'm giving up Words with Friends and going back to my writing. And, I'm decreeing here and now: no more Words with Friends!

Just as soon as these two games are over.



Anonymous said...

I just added this blog to my rss reader, excellent stuff. Cannot get enough!

Patti L Brown said...

Thanks! I'll post more soon.