As an editor, I have to be extra choosy with my words. I was doing this long before I got involved in journalism — as an avid player of Scrabble.
Don’t get me wrong: I don’t mean to suggest that playing Scrabble prepared me for this job. If anything, editing a newspaper forces me to shut out the Scrabble playing part of my brain. For example, using two-letter words like “za” and “qi” is generally frowned upon in the newsroom. And just to be clear, I don’t get paid extra for using z’s and q’s in my stories.
And yet I continue to persevere, playing Scrabble even when I know the words it adds to my vocabulary will never be any use to me at work.
My history with Scrabble is, for the most part, typical for someone my age. I started playing in middle school with my family, faced off against with friends when they had the attention span for it, and when it was invented, I began playing online Scrabble. When Scrabble became accessible by smart phone, I bought the app, and eventually gave in to the “Words with Friends” craze (For those who don’t know, Words with Friends is an app that rips off Scrabble, but is more popular and user-friendly).
But before Scrabble made it to the smart phone, and this is where my story becomes unique, I started the Fredonia Scrabble Guild. It seemed to have all the necessary components for taking off: interest from my peers, uniqueness and most important, a Facebook page.
Except the Fredonia Scrabble Guild never got off the ground. I started the club during winter break when most students were home visiting family. The club’s Facebook page still bears this description: “We use the Scrabble beta application for its convenience, but come spring semester, look for Scrabble house parties, Scrabble at Sunny’s, Scrabble everywhere.”