Words between friends

I love playing phone games just as much as the next person. Although I don’t have a lot of apps that I play on a regular basis, one that I continue to painfully endure is Words with Friends. It’s a great way to stay in touch with my mom in Michigan. 

That’s the only positive feedback I have on that game.

I’m no stranger to words. I work with words on a regular basis and we have been “friends” for as long as I can remember. In elementary school I loved spelling and learning all about vowels and consonants, and would even beg my mom to purchase advanced workbooks in the grocery store so I could pretend I was in school. (My brother thought I was crazy). 

In middle school my love for the written language grew. I was a bit shy back then (really!) so I would write funny stories about everyday pre-teen life and pressures in my spare time.  

Then in college, I studied English, reading the greatest authors of all time and from all countries –– the masters of wordcraft. I learned the rules on what makes a word, the origins of words, the grammar and the definition of words and how to put them together to create stories and meaning. 

And for years I’ve used my words to write for a living.

But then my mom convinced me to play Words with Friends. Somebody please tell me why it is that I cannot beat my Mom, or anyone, at that infernal phone game? My goals are simple: Just like Scrabble, create a word of three letters or more and, if possible, place it on the best spaces to maximize the point value. 

True example: I’ll play the word “S-H-U-T”: It’s worth seven points and if I’m lucky I hit a double word score and get 14. Great skills!

Within seconds, Mom comes back with: “Q-I-S” – What? It doesn’t follow any word rule I know of and means nothing to me. And, it’s worth more points than three of my turns because she uses the Q, and there’ll happen to be a triple word square. 

The one thing I do know for sure about that word game is this –– I could teach it a word or two.