Only Cheaters Use Big Words?
August 30, 2017 By. Jenny Lea
Apparently, when you happen to know the name of a beautiful bush, you are accused of cheating at ‘Words with Friends’.
My letters consisted of D-D-E-L-I-B-U and all I see is smaller words. I hate smaller words. You cannot always help having to use smaller words, but if you want the points you must blob them up against another word, unless it consists of high point letters that can be placed on a triple word or triple letter tile. So, I look, thinking ok, I have DELI, LIED, BLUE, BUD and other small words. There wasn’t much on the board, since my opponent had been tossing in one small word after another and created a large blob of letters. So, I thought, oh the hell with it. Let me click on the “word radar” button and see what empty spaces have a chance to be filled, and Eureka! I have a chance to use all seven letters! A word that ends in the letter “A”. I didn’t see it, so I start clicking the little arrow button that makes all the tiles bounce around. I take a look and start sounding out “budi..”, bounce the tiles, “buda..”, bounce the tiles and “budle…” hhmm, “buddlea!”. I toss in the B-U-D-D-L-E-A and ‘Words with Friends’ indicates it is not a word. I am thinking, “what the hell! Buddlea is a word. It is a bush, with flowers and it is in our backyard and….I start thinking about it and maybe I misspelled it and that is why I have this infamous “I” left in my tile tray. So, I toss my remaining ‘I’ between L and the D and nope, between L and E and nope, and then I fling it between E and A and viola, BUDDLEIA, is a word. I click “PLAY” and I am happy. I utilized all 7 tiles and remembered the name of that bush in the backyard.
Side note: When it comes to plants on the property, I want to make sure none of them are poisonous to the dogs. In some cases, I have to research the plant, toss some pictures of it at friends that may be able to identify it and so on. In this case, I asked the man who mows the lawn and he told me it is a Butterfly Bush. When I looked up Butterfly Bush, I found out it was officially called “Buddleia” and it is safe for dogs to eat. I remembered the name of it because it made me think of Buganvilia bushes or to be more appropriate, Bougainvillea bushes. They have beautiful flowers and big evil thorns that look nothing like the Buddleia bush’s flowers and minus the thorns. But they both start with B and are odd sounding flowering bushes. So, I remembered.
Either way, my opponent claims I am cheating; because, I know the word BUDDLEIA! She starts rattling on about being some kind of SCRABBLE pro that has attended SCRABBLE tournaments and knows a cheater when she sees one. The whole time I am, one upset about being called a cheater and two wondering how a person who seems to know nothing but 3 to 4 letter words ever attended a SCRABBLE tournament. She rambled on for a while and then blocked me. It made me wonder if the time I used the word “ELOQUENT” a few weeks earlier made my opponent wonder if I was cheating. Then again, an opponent used the word "LYSOSOME" the other day and I didn't instantly assume he cheated.
There are a number of reasons why I know a good number of words. I pay attention. I know cyan because when I buy ink cartridges for my printer, they are not blue, they are cyan. A shade of blue or greenish-blue. I also read a lot, and not just fiction, but reference, news, blogs, etc. When I create memes or write blogs, I make sure to research the subject. Sometimes I find out it is all hype and everything is tossed to the side. Other times it is worth creating a comic, a meme or write out a whole blog about it. Some of that research includes reading legal jargon and in many cases I am stuck reaching for a dictionary or going to a dictionary website to figure out what each of the words mean. Some words manage to stick around in my brain and some don’t. However, common letter grouping always sticks around, such as ou, gh, ei, ie, ea, ley and so on. Since “Words with Friends” is a digital version of SCRABBLE, it makes it easier to discover new words, rather than knowing the words from the start. If one has some of the common letter groupings and available spaces to place them, one can move them around until the game indicates the word is valid. When I discover a new word, or my opponent plays a word I don’t recognize, I always click dictionary to learn something new. When I am listening to the news, movies, series, anything I pay attention. When I hear an uncommon word, I tend to spell it out in my head or if I don’t recognize the word, I look it up. The first time I ever heard the word, disconcerting, was in the SyFy series, “Eureka”. Allison Blake asked Jack Carter if he had a certain item and Jack’s house answered her. Her response to the house talking was something like, “That is disconcerting”. I couldn’t quite figure out what it meant in conversation. I thought, weird, bad, uncommon. I looked it up and it turned out it meant, unsettling. I have remembered it ever since. I first heard of the word “infamous” on “The Three Amigos!” movie. Lucky, Ned and Dusty received a telegram pleading with them to go to “Santo Poco” to stop the “Infamous, El Guapo!”. The movie defined the word “infamous” to mean wicked in one scene and overly famous in another scene. After looking it up in a dictionary it meant someone who was well known for being a bad and evil person.
If I want to thank someone for my want to look up the meaning of words or do my own research, it would be my parents. When I was a kid, I could be watching TV, reading a book and find a word I was not familiar with. I would go to ask Mom or Dad and they would tell me, “you know how to use a dictionary, go look it up.” When I was a kid, I was thinking my parents were being a couple of assholes, but as time went on, I realized they were teaching me to find out for myself rather than depend on others to give me all the answers.
Just because someone knows a lot of words doesn’t mean they spend their day utilizing them. While hanging out with family and friends there is no reason to toss in any high dollar words at each other. A person’s level of vocabulary also fluctuates with the average vocabulary of their audience. There are times when the level of vocabulary is unexpected. I have talked to a group of teenagers at one vocabulary level and then had to dumb it down a bit when talking to a group of adults. Situations such as that can be a bit disconcerting, but on the bright side, it indicates the younger generation is brighter than an older generation. Older or younger, people should always try to learn more than they know now. Don’t be afraid to look stuff up. Most people know more words than they think they do. In some cases, they know the word, but they don’t know what it means. When it comes to word games, knowing the definition is not a necessity, but one should still look it up.