Latin Catholic by birth, Byzantine Catholic by the grace of God.
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Location: Upstate, New York, United States

Friday, December 03, 2004

PC Scrabble, who knew?

A good friend of mine and I play scrabble at each opportunity, which works out to about every two weeks. He plays frequently with his wife and I never get to play outside of our visits. Nobody else in my life likes the game. So, despite my Brobdingnagian vocabulary, his grasp of strategy and practice enables him to beat me three quarters of the time.

Tired of the situation, I bought the latest computer Scrabble version, to get in some covert practice - the game even has trainers. But it uses an expurgated dictionary! The manual says that it's for "recreational and school use," so they cut about 165 words out that are acceptable in tournament play, but offend certain groups. This didn't bother me terribly until I tried to play "jew" on a triple word score (4+1+8 times 3 = 39 points!) and the computer denied it.

When I realized that "jew," since proper nouns are never allowed, can only be played as a verb (and was thus banned as offensive), I was furious that this egregious political correctness would cost me the game. So I found the list of words on Google and typed them all back into the computer's dictionary. Spending an hour typing words like "papistry," "bazooms," "wop," "crapper," and "darkie" made me feel like a naughty fourth-grader. But now I can play real Scrabble again.

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