Thursday, April 12, 2012

National Scrabble Day

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By Diane Forrest

My in-laws were a couple of wild and crazy folks.  Their idea of a big Friday night was sitting around the kitchen table munching on some popcorn or those bite sized smokey sausages, and playing a roaring game of Scrabble.  Having not played the game growing up, I was the novice of the group.  They, being more experienced knew how to use those big score letters, and where to place them so they would get even more points.  It didn't take too many weekends before I too learned the skill to word placement, and how to make those 32 point words, and soon I was able to give them a run for their money.

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When my son got old enough to play games I would play these games with him, he loved scrabble, but was a poor looser.  When he went off to college we would meet online and play literati on yahoo.  Literati is a version of scrabble, and he would delight in always beating my score.  However, if I should happen to win, he would turn off his computer and sulk for a while.  Playing the game was good for his English skills, if not for his sportsmanship skills.  His vocabulary is excellent, and he still plays a version of scrabble today, only now he plays Words with Friends, a version played on his cell phone.

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Scrabble was invented in 1938 by Alfred Mosher Butts.  He was an American architect who designed a game called lexico, it was based using the letter tiles and forming words.  He redesigned the game, calling it Criss-crosswords, but couldn't sell it to any game manufacturer.  Fortunately it was discovered by the president of Macy's, and the rest is history.

There has been several versions of Scrabble, it has been a television game show, computer game, internet game, and even variations such as upwards, and words with friends.  There are deluxe editions, large print editions, and even a travel edition.  There are clubs, contests, and websites for Scrabble, there are dictionaries, helpers, and even cheaters.

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Today is National Scrabble Day.  Why not dust off your old game and pop some popcorn and play a few rounds.  For information about the Scrabble club, click here:

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