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Friday, January 13, 2012

The Last Great Game: Scrabble

Just ask Alec Baldwin how compelling a game this is for many of us. Recently, he was asked to leave an American Airlines flight for refusing to turn off his cell phone…he was playing Words with Friends at the time and it was his turn.

There are dozens of word games that have been invented over the years. Some have greater longevity than others, and Scrabble is one that has thrived over time. This true classic in the category of word games was invented in 1938 by Alfred Mosher Butts--interestingly, an architect.

We all weaned our children on the game, imparting the joy of making words for the greatest number of points. Of course word knowledge is important, but a truly challenging game of Scrabble depends on more than that alone. Strategy is key: one must consider the balance of his rack of letters, a solid offense, along with a strong defense. This can get complex and competitive—much like Chess.

Smart phones have revolutionized the game by allowing it to be played 24/7 in cyberspace with family, friends, and complete strangers. And if you’re looking for a reliable word source, you can use the 4th edition of the Official Scrabble Player’s Dictionary, or the Enable List which can be downloaded.

I’m guessing that few are thrown off planes for playing Scrabble, but many of us still enjoy a good game with our children who probably beat us these days.

This blog is posted by Laraine Jablon whose favorite word is qat.

Laraine Jablon, BA, MA, is a writer specializing in social and health concerns of seniors. She is based in Nesconset, New York, and welcomes your thoughts.