Scrabble Facts You Probably Didn't Know
Word games are a fun way to enhance your cognitive skills and learn some new vocabulary. With that said, Scrabble is an all-time-favorite because it makes learning an enjoyable experience. It's also quite competitive, which is why it's a great board game to play with a friend, or online with other players. However, winning a game of scrabble is no child's play; world championships can leave viewers on the edge of their seats. And while you probably already know how fun the game can be, you likely don't know much about these facts.
It Was Invented by a 1930s Architect
The inventor of the board game was a New York City architect who came up with the idea of the game when he was unemployed. Alfred Mosher Butts took his time to develop the rules of the game until he decided he was going to make a point system for the letters used.
Butts knew that he needed to calculate the frequency of the alphabet before he created a system for point collection, so he grabbed an issue of The New York Times, and analyzed the front page. He found that the letters E and A were most frequent, and Q and Z were less frequent occurrences. While the former letters get you one point, the latter gets you ten.
Scrabble Remains Unchanged
Although the game has been around since the 30s, the rules of the game have practically seen no change. Of course, the dictionary that the game bases its rules on has many more modern words such as “selfie” and “OMG.” However, the game rules also state that any dictionary agreed-upon by participants is valid. One other rule that remains unchanged is that using words of your own creation is allowed as long as the other participant doesn't call you out, and is convinced that you've used a real word.
However, while the appearance and the rules of the game remain unchanged, the experience of playing it is different. There are now online versions and self-help tools. If you're struggling with a game with your friend, and have a bunch of characters, but can't think of any words, you can unscramble these letters using online self-help tools to help you win. When beginners use them often, they gradually get better at the game and become less dependent on guides and cheats.
It Was Rejected (Initially)
Although the game is now one of the most popular board games to play, it certainly wasn't when it was first invented. In fact, game manufacturers initially rejected the board game when it was pitched and shown to them by Butts. However, he didn't stop at that. His friend, James Brunot, encouraged him to continue developing and building the game, and the duo eventually became business partners.
Brunot provided Butts with a garage, where he built the game by hand. Eventually, the makeshift business would receive orders to purchase the game. They were able to supply their customers at first, until one day they received a large order that they couldn't handle. This led to the decision to sell the game to a manufacturer.
It can Improve Cognitive Abilities
While the game is undoubtedly fun, it's also a good exercise for your brain. Recent studies show that playing word games, especially games as competitive as Scrabble, can increase gray matter in your brain and improve your memory. Because you're constantly strategizing about using your repertoire of vocabulary to beat your opponent, you're exercising your thinking skills, while you're also encouraging your memory to retain more information.
It Had a Different Name
Perhaps the rules of the game haven't changed, but the name of it certainly has. Initially, Butts couldn't decide on a catchy name. He called it Lexico but then shortly decided against it, and called it Criss-Cross Words instead. It wasn't the inventor that eventually came up with the name as we know it. Brunot suggested the name Scrabble in the late 1930s, and the name stuck.
The rules of Scrabble have surprisingly seen little change over the years since its invention, but the experience of playing it has certainly seen some development. You can now enjoy the game online, while there are also tools you can use to up your chances of winning. Despite the fact that the game was primarily rejected by game manufacturers, Scrabble has become a staple of word games. If you haven't already tried playing this game, you might want to start so you can reap the cognitive benefits or have some competitive fun with your friends. If you want to play on your own, you can always opt for an online Scrabble platform.