The trials and tribulations of a life of leisure...


Sunday, June 29, 2008

Words Of Interest - NATHEMO

As a brief introduction to words of interest, which I may or may not run with in future posts...

Scrabble players are a diverse lot.

All colours, creeds, young and old, men and women and everything in between.

We also range widely in our actual interest in words - the full spectrum of 'I don't care what it means but I know it is a valid word' to the true logophiles. The vast majority of top scrabble players are from scientific/mathematical backgrounds. The problem with logophiles is that they think they have a great vocabulary, which many do, but it is not geared to being good at scrabble. They can lose track of what it is all about - playing the percentages and winning. I am a scientific 'don't really care' scrabble player.

I am much more interested in knowing a word's hooks and anagrams and what letters it combines with to make another word than what it actually means. There are just so many words that will never be used in everyday life - and even if you make an effort the person you are talking to probably won't have a clue what you are on about.

Okay - take EGILMNSU - GUMLINES/LEGUMINS/MULESING. I knew what the former two meant but how often will I have a conversation about removing anal wrinkles of sheep. On second thoughts now that I am a R-URALITE I can't rule it out.

Since I have started using zyzzyva to study I have actually switched on the display of the definitions. I am not trying to learn them but occasionally find something of interest. It may be an odd definition, an odd word or just that I have lived my life in ignorance. I must apologise to David Sutton as he is bound to have covered the following in one of his many articles in The Last Word magazine, but I will have just scanned the bold print to find any words I didn't know :)

Since I first learnt this word long ago I had pronounced it in my head as Nath/Emo. I knew it was a 'blocker' - with an S it makes HOASTMEN. I now find it means 'never the more', yet another word made up by Spenser, and I will change my mental pronunciation to Nae/The/Mo'. NATHEMORE is also valid, which may come in handy if your oppo starts with NATHEMO in the optimal position...


Huttonian said...

Go into 'Crossword Buddy' to get some weird words in the lists-I am sure some have been made up and are therefore invalid for Scrabble?

Huttonian said...

And how about : Buthtr

Buck the trend?

Hels said...

There is an official book that contains all permissable words for international play (which is also what we use for all domestic tournaments)- currently this is Collins Scrabble Tournament and Club Word List. Only words in here are allowed.
The official word source does change/get updated periodically which means a lot of work learning and unlearning words...

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