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Scrabble (was Re: Dutch "ij)"

From:Tim May <butsuri@...>
Date:Wednesday, July 17, 2002, 22:21
Note that Tony Hogard's post* makes this largely obselete, but I had to
carry dictionaries around, so I'm posting it anyway.

* And Doug Dee's.  Inicdentally, I note that Tony Hogard's rules are
  differently worded to mine - presumably a national distinction.
  BrE speakers couldn't use Merriam-Webster anyway.

Tristan McLeay writes:
 > On Thu, 2002-07-18 at 07:12, Tim May wrote:
 > > Nik Taylor writes:
 > >  > Tim May wrote:
 > >  > > Qabalah, qanat, qawwali, qi, qibla, qigong and qintar are in the New
 > >  > > Oxford.  Everything else I can see is a proper noun or an abbreviation
 > >  > > (is Qabalah proper?  It's capitalized). Oh, and qwerty is at the back
 > >  > > of q.  I'd count that as an abbreviation, although I guess it's a grey
 > >  > > area.
 > >  >
 > >  > Okay, there are a *few* examples.  But, I think those would count as
 > >  > foreign words, which are illegal in Scrabble.  Of course, "foreign word"
 > >  > is a rather grey area, as numerous debates with my mother during
 > >  > Scrabble games attest.  :-)
 > >  >
 > >
 > > They're certainly foreign words, but they are in the dictionary, and
 > > thus now words in English.  Is there as specific dictionary the
 > > authority of which is recognized by serious Scrabble players?
 > There's an official word-list made by the makers of Scrabble, but I
 > don't know that it's complete. It looked rather thin. (There may be a
 > more complete version as well, of course.) If there is another
 > dictionary, I imagine the OED wouldn't be it because of the amount of
 > dialectal and archaic words it has.

!Well, I got interested enough to go look in the Scrabble rules of play
!in the box, and it says
!8.  Permitted Words: Any words listed in a standard English dictionary
!    are permitted except those only spelt with an initial capital
!    letter, abbreviations, prefixes and suffixes and words requiring
!    apostraphes and hyphens.  Foreign words in a standard English
!    dictionary are considered to ahave been absorbed into the English
!    language and are permitted. [...]

Of course, what should be considered a "standard" English dictionary
is itself questionable.  Most probably, the question doesn't arise
often, because people agree to play with whatever dictionary they have
to hand (and this is rarely the complete OED for reasons of price and

The New Oxford Dictionary of English (which I was using) is more
reasonable, in that at least you can carry it from one room to
another.  What most people have (around here) I guess would be the
Concise OED, which has all those words in it too.  Theoretically I
guess you could use the Compact Oxford English Dictionary (not to be
confused with the Compact Oxford Dictionary of English) which is the
Complete OED in one volume (very small type on very thin paper, comes
with a free magnifying glass) but it costs about £200.

One could of course have both a Q and a Qu tile, but this doesn't
really solve anything, as you then either have a Q that's the same as
at present, or a Q which can only be used without a U, which would be
almost unusable and have some game-endingly high value as a result.

Incidentally, I forgot to mention that qibla is a variant spelling of