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Are You Freakin’ Kidding Me?

scrabble boardOk, I’m taking a bit of a chance here.  I run the very serious risk of offending people that I truly like and respect, but I cannot remain silent any longer.  I don’t want to single anyone out in particular.  If you read this and feel guilty, well, I can’t help your guilt, but I can tell you not to feel lonely.

If you’ve been following along, you may have noticed that I’ve occasionally referred to certain games on Facebook that I enjoy playing, like Scrabble and Scramble.  I have always liked word games, crosswords, puzzles of all types.  In all honesty, I mostly do crosswords and puzzles because I am extremely competitive and I don’t much like the way I feel when I lose.   Sore losers bug the hell out of me (although, to be fair, most things bug the hell out of me!) and I know that I can be one, so rather than behave badly, I will often opt not to play against friends instead.

Facebook, though, put an end to all that.  It just seemed too rude to ignore the requests to play WordTwist with one friend, or Scramble against another.  In virtual games, I couldn’t say “Nah, I’ve had a few too many to concentrate…you guys play, I’ll keep score”.  If you ignore the games, eventually people actually NUDGE you (this action results in you receiving emails telling you that Johnny really wants you to take your friggin’ turn already).  So, I play.  And I think I can say, with modesty, that in most of the games I play, I win.

What I cannot keep quiet about is the outright, are-you-even-trying-to-pretend-you’re-not? cheating that is going on.  If  you look at the image at the top of this post, you will see a Scrabble board.  It is an actual game that I played with some very dear friends.  I’ve known them for a very long time.  We went to school together.  We sometimes took classes together.  We hung out for hours on end.  I have never heard either of them say anything even remotely along the lines of “I can’t believe I failed this test!!  What was the idoneous response for question 3?”

None of my friends are doctors.  None are nurses.  The closest any of them comes to the medical/biological/scientific fields is my best girlfriend who wanted to be a vet when we were 15.  Then she took high school biology and refused to disect the frog.  And yet, Dictionary.com lists this definition for the word zyme: the specific principle regarded as the cause of a zymotic disease. Really.  So tell me, ’cause I really want to know, please do tell me when was the last time you used the word zyme in a sentence?

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  • Mom

    How does using such a word equate to cheating? There are many words I use when playing Scrabble that I would never use in real life. Knowing that it is, indeed, a real word is all that is necessary for being able to use said word in the game.

    I’m confused…

  • Sigh. Did I not mention that this is a “virtual” game? These people are not sitting in front of me, placing all of their tiles on the Scrabble board, or finding 167 of 170 possible Boggle/Scramble words in 2 minutes flat. They are sitting in their homes, opening up a second web browser, and searching for word generators. I have placed words like “pedate” and “padauk”, which I know from crosswords (clue: of the foot, and clue: Asian redwood -var) but have never used in real life. I do not accuse them of cheating on a whim. I have known most of them for years. I adore them. I know that they are smart, quick-witted people. They know that I am honest and blunt, to a fault. When they place all their letters at least once (sometimes more!!) in every single game of Scrabble using words like idoneous, well it is only a matter of time ’til my gloves come off.

    Hope that helps with your confusion. If not, there is medication for that…

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