Warning: Strong Opinions and occasionally Strong Language ahead.
This is a Rant that may hit home with a lot of you.
I used to play a lot of on-line Scrabble. Then the app went wonky on me, and I switched to Words with Friends, which, to be honest, I like better. More word options, more flexibility, less stuffiness. And if you have to disappear for a few days under the weight of deadlines or travel, it doesn’t get snitty with you.
(Sorry, friends who sometimes wait 2-3 days for my response. But you knew who you were playing when you started!)
But I have to admit that, much as I enjoy the game, sometimes I wonder what the ever-loving fuck drugs the WwF back-office staff were on when they put together their “acceptable words” lists.
(I can see some of you nodding emphatically at this.)
Because okay, yeah, I get it: there are some words that we use in common conversation that aren’t legitimized by the dictionary yet. That’s fine, we accept that there are limits. But when you allow “pht” and “poh,” I don’t think you have ground to stand on denying us “aigh” and “blech” and “ack.”
No swear words, all right, yeah, it’s a family-friendly game, and nothing that could be construed as a slur; I get it, I approve (although I still say ‘fucking’ should be allowed, it’s a perfectly friendly word when used right).
And then there are some words that we use that are actually not words, and therefore not legit, I don’t care how WwF spins it. Yes, I know that Fe is the symbol for iron. That does not make it a word! And yet… (TBH, I’ve gotten a lot of points using that on triple letter spaces. But it’s the principle of the thing, damn it!) Also, if they’re going to allow “el” (elevated subway) then they should also allow “tv.”
And for the love of god and game dice, Oh WwF staff, why the hell are we allowed to use words like “gie” (Scottish slang) and “feh” (Yiddish)? All right I’ll grant you Scottish slang, because it’s allegedly related to English. And Yiddish is… well, let’s call it an honorary nod to Mel Brooks and move on. But “fado,” for example, is a Portuguese word, not English. And it’s not exactly in the everyday vocabulary for most English speakers. And “pas?” That comes to us from the French, from “pas de deux” – but deux isn’t allowed.
And if foreign origins-but-we-use-them are okay, shouldn’t “craig” be an acceptable word? It’s a legit variant of the Scottish “crag,” which is an accepted WwF word!
And if some Latin is acceptable (stet, sic, ergo, ibidem, for dog’s sake!) then why not ”quo” or “flagrante” or “versa?” And for fuck’s sake, what about ur?
WordNerdWorld Problems, I know. But it pisses me off every time I play.