Tag Archives: words with friends

Scrabble allows proper nouns; a nation mourns its lost innocence

Thanks to Change, this letter can now be used to score points on everything from Zappa to Zoltar to Zombie

.Island Packet — Not to sound like a jerk, but I am better than you at Scrabble. And I can prove it with shocking mathematics: In March I played a single word for 117 points, 117 nasal passage-melting points, a startling, Bob Huggins’ head-sized accomplishment that is difficult to process with your mortal human brain, so I will pause here to let you absorb it with reverent silence.

Go on. It’s OK. I’ll cool myself with tropical foliage while being hand-fed cheeses and star fruit while you stand slack-jawed with wonder.

OK, now that your heart rate has relaxed and most of the major sweating has slowed, I will tell you that the 117-point monster I conjured with my brain-wand was DOOZIES, a word which is far too cartoonish for the verbal firepower and childish gloating it unleashed. If you are not a Scrabble player, this is the equivalent of Albert Pujols hitting a home run that counted for 30 runs, or Duke’s championship victory coming in part because Jon Scheyer hit a 75-pointer (which NCAA officials would happily allow, incidentally, but whatever).

Indeed, at any given time, I am engaged in three or four games of Scrabble, mostly on my iPhone, where I play the free Scrabble app called Words With Friends (a name which no doubt resulted from Lawsuits Among Companies), a diversion that helps exercise my mind while causing considerable terror in the drivers behind me.

But this has all taken place under what will soon be known as Old Scrabble Rules, the board-game equivalent of the pre-‘roid era. Because a new edition of the game will for the first time allow proper nouns — including the names of celebrities, places and companies — because a board game adored by language enthusiasts for 62 years can’t possibly navigate the rocky transition to the iPad Age unless it can somehow work in “Beyonce.” (I note with no small degree of pleasure that the person who established the anti-proper noun rule was Alfred Butts, whose name is now worth a great many points and immeasurable awesomeness.)


• Cameo – Word Up!



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Dear Apple, FINE, I GIVE UP: Send me an iPad / interocitor / frog exaggerator immediately

Pictured: The Apple iPad, due April 3 (drives sold separately)

GateHouse — Well, as usual, my attempt to avoid coveting a sleek and impractical object produced by the nerd-leprechauns at Apple has lasted until the exact moment they showed a commercial for it on the TV. Thanks, Oscars, not only did you throw my spring budget into chaos with your deliciously tempting ad for an electronic device I couldn’t possibly need but would give me something do with my other hand while I’m futzing with the iPod during the commute, but also you gave Best Costume Design to “The Young Victoria?” Um, did I miss the part where you all became gravy-brained goat-people? Because the costume designs in “The Young Victoria” are a HUMILIATING JOKE WHEN COMPARED TO THE SHATTERING GRANDIOSITY OF THE COSTUME DESIGN OF “COCO BEFORE CHANEL.” This is why real America hates the Hollywood elite; go back to British Columbia and take your Neil Patrick Harris with you, appeasers.

Anyway, I was talking about Apple (for the purposes of finishing this piece I’m turning the Oscar broadcast off before they announce Best Documentary Short because if it isn’t “Music By Prudence” I am going to smash all the windows at the mall). We have all Apple products here at the house, for two very simple reasons:

  1. We deeply enjoy feelings of smug superiority.
  2. They work. Knock on wood, but in four years we haven’t had one notable thing go wrong with either, which, given the amount of illegal music and international pornography I download, is a miracle on par with that time I found the Virgin Mary’s profile in my yogurt swirls. And I really mean this, I’m not just saying it so Apple sees me on their Google Alerts and decides hey we should send this guy some free gear or something just for being so nice and complimentary to us and besides Apple Apple Apple Apple.




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