Having a family get-together for a board game night was a common event many years ago. It was a time when family members anticipated which board game would be played that evening, and of course, the game of choice in many homes was Scrabble.
Scrabble is a fun game where skill and wit plays a big part in who comes out the winner. Maybe not so much today, but in the past Scrabble was a gift found under many Christmas trees. Many homes were filled with warmth, enjoyment, and excitement while playing the most popular word game in the world. Scrabble as the most popular word board game still stands today.
A Bit of Scrabble History
Scrabble has an interesting beginning. It was conceived by Alfred Butts and introduced in 1948 by a company called Selchow & Righter. According to the book “Timeless Toys” by T. Walsh, the idea and rules of Scrabble was invented by Butts while he was reading “The Gold Bug,” by the great storyteller himself, Edgar Allen Poe. The story by Poe included mysterious messages that he created using secret codes resembling letters. The message was cracked open by observing the most frequently used symbols and substituting them with the most frequently used letters of the alphabet.
Butts used the concept of letter regularity and allocated a point system to each letter determined by their usage within a word. For example, the vowels A, E, I, O, U, together with the consonants T, S, L, N, R, all have the value of one because they are the most frequently utilized letters in words.
Scrabble is now considered a classic or vintage board game. Nonetheless, family board games are still popular via the online experience including downloadable mobile versions. Sure, it’s not the same as when everyone is sitting around the table taking part in the excitement. Nonetheless, online word games like Scrabble can be a boost to a freelancer's word vocabulary.
How you say? Continue reading.
Figuring It All Out
Being a freelance writer (or writer in general) requires the ability to put words together in a coherent manner whether you are writing sacristan prose, non-fiction, fiction, skits, etc. There are billions, perhaps trillions, of words to choose from.
I understand the correlation between freelance writing and the word game Scrabble because I occasionally play the online version. At first I simply put words together that I was familiar with. Then I noticed there were players scoring extremely high. I became curious about their strategy.
No forum existed on the site for players to communicate so after long and painstaking deliberation, I figured it out. The high-scoring players simply used their "imagination more." Instead of utilizing the tried-and-true system of sticking with "what you know" it became apparent that I had to "go beyond the parameters" of the proffered precepts of letter amalgamations.
I came up with crazy words that I never knew existed like:
aba - garment of camel or goat hair; camel or goat-hair fabric
deek -look at; see
pais - people from whom a jury is drawn
I never used or heard of these words before but in order to get a higher score at Scrabble "desperate times call for desperate measures."
If you want to strengthen your vocabulary and word knowledge and give a boost to your freelance writing career, give Scrabble a try...you never know what words you will discover. And even if you never use them, the game is fun so...what do you have to lose?