Monday, August 20, 2007


I've been playing a lot of Scrabble on Facebook lately.

Bear with me, this is tangentially relevant to writing. It's definitely relevant to language.

Last night I was making my Scrabble moves and my blokey was watching.

"How about ghley?" he said.

Thinking this might be an obscure word I didn't know, I looked up "ghley" in the Scrabble application's dictionary. No joy.

"That's not a word," I said.

"I know," he replied. "But it should be."

At this point I hit him.

But this got me thinking about alternate Scrabbles and how the game mechanics might work. For example, the variation I'll call Ought-to-ble. You can play a move that isn't a word, as long as everyone agrees it ought to be. For example, "ghley". Or "quap". They sound cool, they (mostly) obey the conventions of English spelling, they really should be words, but thanks to bad luck they aren't.

Then Blokey suggested a variation in which you can only play "ought-to-be" words. If you accidentally play a real word, you lose your turn.

I wonder if these would actually work in practice? I'm sure plenty of people have tried them. Perhaps I'll give them a go the next time I've got a bunch of friends round and we're feeling drunk and silly.

We might also have to try backwards Scrabble, only proper names Scrabble, only rude words Scrabble, etc.

Speaking of rude words, I discovered this morning that "feck" is a valid word. Not sure about "arse".


Blogger William Gallagher said...

I was very tempted to by Welsh Scrabble. Extremely hard to play but you get some really high-scoring words.


12:06 PM  
Anonymous Ghley said...

ghley? really interesting ;p my nickname has been ghley for 4 years now and i even have a small blog of my own =)

haha =)

have a nice day

1:25 AM  

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