Dear Scrabble, Put Away That Dictionary!

Some of the best fun while playing Scrabble are the strange word discussions: Does that word really exist? Can you find a book that it appears in? Can you find a dictionary that has it? (And can somebody please dust off that 19th century dictionar…

Some of the best fun while playing Scrabble are the strange word discussions: Does that word really exist? Can you find a book that it appears in? Can you find a dictionary that has it? (And can somebody please dust off that 19th century dictionary before we get it out?!) Is it a neologism or just plain antiquated? Or can you even convince your fellow scrabblers that a word exists…. that doesn’t?

Alas, no such fun with the electronic version: While it’s on first sight fine if the game looks up things in the dictionary, it takes out the doubt (the machine becomes the referee), and quickly gets frustrating when the players’ vocabulary is larger than the machine’s (yup, got there pretty quickly). In a game that’s all about playing with words, give my fellow players a chance to accept that strange word even if it isn’t in the dictionary — or even better, memorize it and use it against me when I play against the machine!

But don’t force us all to stick to the limits of the computer dictionary’s linguistic imagination, please. Back to those wooden bricks again.