Andrew Kay scrabbles to mince his words

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Post: Andrew Kay scrabbles to mince his words/ 16.01.2008


Andrew Kay scrabbles to mince his words


I’m not sure I can face Facebook for much longer. Yes, it is nice to be in touch, but does it have to come with so much claptrap. Managing Facebook could become a full-time occupation, precluding any actual social intercourse in favour of the sanitised world of the web.

One thing it has done for me is given me yet one more vice with which I have to battle. Whilst others struggle with their own demons of drugs and drink, I am now struggling withy the addictive nature of an online game.

Yes, my name is Andrew and I am addicted to Scrabulous.
I have of course been addicted to Scrabble since childhood. Anyone who loves words loves Scrabble. Mum and dad played, and as a teenager, so did I. In my thirties I rediscovered it but also found that there were fewer people prepared to play.
One or two are put off by the competitive way I play.
I’m unconvinced about uncompetitive game playing – sports days where no one is a winner or a loser. Surely we are preparing kids for a very unreal future.


‘‘I’m unconvinced about un-competitive games. Surely we are preparing kids for an unreal future’’

Anyway, Facebook introduced me to Scrabulous and now I am hooked. I play morning and evening, often turning off John Humphries in favour of a game. At that time of day you can be playing someone in Mumbai or New Orleans, it’s a strange timeless world, and one filled with equally addicted word geeks.

Scrabulous gives you a rating too, which means that people can decide whether to play you or not. It can be quite upsetting being rejected at 7am by a stranger in the subcontinent on the grounds that your rating is too high or too low. My rating is quite high but not astronomical, which means that I get a fair amount of rejection from the very good and from the not very good. Being pretty good is a lonely place on planet Scrabulous.

I also have problems with the way the game is played. By that I mean that as yet I have not got to grips with either the formats or the rules of play. Words that I have used for years are rejected and words that I dismiss as slang crop up as acceptable. It’s all very confusing.

This morning I was alarmed to find someone using a word that I would hesitate to play, quite brazenly. I will not even print it here, but there it sat, unashamedly in the middle of the board having been electronically accepted. I blushed, then pressed on.

Will Scrabulous lower my standards? I hope not, although if you can play that sort of word I might have to if I am to retain my rating. What a dilemma I face – to swear or not to swear?
That is the question.

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