The Quixotic Q in Scrabble, Words With Friends, and Life

I love the word “quixotic” but I think it should be pronounced |kēˈhōtē tik| rather than |kwikˈsätik.  To dream the impossible dream… No I’m not likely to have my cause to see the character Don Quixote remembered with the proper pronunciation of his name in a word that is derived from his rather removed from reality ideology. Not in this life time.  But to dream the impossible dream… I like doing that. I believe it was the White Queen in Through the Looking Glass who said, “Why, sometimes I’ve believed as many as six impossible things before breakfast,” and encouraged Alice to do the same.
There is much to the advanced playing of Scrabble®, Words with Friends® and even the much larger past time of good old everyday life.  My husband is a killer player of word games.  It is hard to believe that I am the one who showed him that 7 letter words are not that difficult to find and use.  But he taught me about “the leave,” or the art of playing what you need to but leaving tiles, if you have to not use all your tiles, that are capable of being built upon.  Another strategy is to play multiple words  in parallel to increase your score dramatically and wonder of words like “qi” and “za.”
I, for one, have been quite amazed at the popularity of Words with Friends.  It is a fun way to connect with friends and reconnect with old friends. I have realized that not all the folks with whom I play online social media word games have the years of experience I do with such games.  Now, I am not a whiz and just get scores on the high side of average,  but I like to share what I know even if it isn’t a huge amount.
So I am sharing a word list of some of my favorite words that I think of as word game words.
aa — a type of lava
q without u words (from Oxford dictionaries):

  • niqab – a veil worn by some Muslim women
  • qanat – (in the Middle East) an irrigation channel
  • qawwal – a performer of qawwali
  • qawwali – Muslim devotional music
  • qibla – the direction towards Mecca
  • qigong – a Chinese system of physical exercises
  • qintar – a monetary unit of Albania
  • QWERTY  – the standard layout of typewriters and keyboards
  • tariqa – the Sufi method of spiritual learning

and from

Memorizing  a list has never scored high on my favorite things to do.  But if you want to improve your score in word games, one of the best ways to do it is to commit a few lists of special words to memory.  Two letter words are a must for memorization and three-letter words are almost as important. The Phrontisery site has some good lists.
The Hasbro Scrabble site also has a great tips and tools page worth checking out.
Idealistic, heady, quixotic, call it whatever, but I love playing with language and seeing a bit of how the minds of my friends work.
Perhaps it is a metaphor for life?  Nah…

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  1. I’ve enjoyed the game… until lately when my time at the keyboard has become extended with other things, and it is a chore now to play. I will return, and when I do, I will take this wonderful list with me!

  2. I love all word games. Have played them since elementary school and having them ‘with friends’ is so kewl. I am currently play 9 games of Hangin’ with Friends the electronic version of hangman. Very fun and more challenging for me than WWF, though I still play a little of that also.
    Fun post and great list!

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