Monday, May 22, 2006

Only One Day Left!

Only one day left in the Martha Barnette Scrabble Challenge! As the KPBS promotional copy puts it:
Did you ever wish you could have dueled Jimi Hendrix on the guitar? Or maybe played a game of hoops against Michael Jordan? Some things simply just won't happen, but if you've ever wondered what it'd be like to battle word master . . .
Funny thing is, I can't remember the last time I won at Scrabble. I get too distracted by the words. And I tend to hoard my tiles, hoping to spell out a word like batrachomyomachy, and then come up a few letters short. So, bid before midnight and win the chance for some not-so-serious bragging rights!


Anonymous daz said...

Okay, I'll bite: Please tell us what batrachomyomachy means.

(I'm trying to figure it out from roots. It seems to have something to do with a fight involving frogs. Frogs, like ants and humans, have wars. Is that it, a frog war?

But the myo part remains a mystery.)

3:13 PM  
Blogger Martha said...

Thank you for biting!

It's a battle between frogs and mice -- a reference to a mock-heroic epic poem in ancient Greece.

When the OED first came out on CD-ROM, their promotional lit included that word as a way of demonstrating its extraordinary reverse-lookup capabilities.

Plug in "battle," "frogs," and "mice," and the OED spits out "batrachomyomachy" in three seconds. I already knew the word (from Greek studies) but I'll never forget being SO amazed by that! Nice memory -- tx for the reminder!

4:11 PM  
Blogger sunbelt said...

I read that champion Scrabble players are good in math. Or have a gift at spotting anagrams. Of course, having a large vocabulary helps too.

Good luck with the game. I believe in your linguistic superiority!

And, don't fear the Q!

6:08 PM  
Blogger Martha said...

Why thank you, Sunbelt! What I have heard is that to be a good Scrabble player, one must be very analytical. Know anyone who fits that description??

8:35 PM  
Anonymous daz said...

I've known a couple of people who are or have been ranked close to the top among U.S. Scrabble players. Thing is, they can't be bothered with learning the meanings of the several hundred thousand words in the OSPD -- it's just not worth the effort when it comes to winning more games.

Which for me makes Scrabble -- which I used to love as a kid -- pale in comparison to word fun that make use of words' meanings (though every once in a while a few rounds of Scrabble or Boggle are still fun).

12:50 AM  

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