Words With Friends

I’m obsessed with words. Have been ever since I was around age nine. While other kids were reading R.L. Stine’s Goosebumps books, I was busy reading Roget’s Thesaurus, fascinated with how many ways there were to say ‘concise’ – terse, pithy, epigrammatic, curt, succinct, abrupt, need I go on? It made me feel special when I could confound my elementary school friends using sophisticated-sounding words.

Is it any wonder I became an author?

I believe words have great power. They can rouse a crowd to action, they can bring you to tears, they can live forever in your memory. I mean, who doesn’t remember Renee Zellweger's line to Tom Cruise, “You had me at hello” from the movie Jerry Maguire?

So it’s probably no surprise that, as an author, I’m currently obsessed with the game Words With Friends. (My fellow Fierce Romance blogger Natasha Moore can attest to this, LOL). Remember the news report of actor Alex Baldwin being thrown off an airplane waiting to take off because he refused to turn off his cell phone in the middle of an exciting game of Words? I’m almost as bad.

Currently, I have something like 22 games going with 6 different people.  Whenever one of us wins or loses and I want a rematch, I often get that dreaded message, “OOPS! You have too many active games” to start another one.

Playing with my aunt is the worst (or the best, considering your perspective). She taught English in college, and we get into some fast-and-furious, exhilarating games. When I play with her I need at least an hour free, because no matter what time of day I send her a word, she’ll answer me within 15-seconds. I think she must have her iPad Velcro-ed to her hip or something. The highest score she ever had against me was 102-points for the word ‘cistern.’ Yep, she landed on a triple letter and triple word for that one!

Although… I must admit the game sometimes has a tendency to go too far. My frustrated brother quit playing with me after I posted the word ‘vert’ to win a game. I got a text back from him saying ‘What the heck does ‘vert’ mean?’ To which I replied, ‘I don’t know…I think it’s the opposite of ‘revert.’ I haven’t spoken to him in a week.

In defense of my obsession, I will say that I HAVE learned several new words (something this wordsmith never thought possible). I don’t know where I’d ever use these, but degum, gink, dree, copal, volant, quern and djin are now part of my vocabulary. Those jewels are courtesy of my sister-in-law, although personally I think she uses Scrabble Cheat to come up with them.  I mean, degum? Really? Is that a word a person uses in everyday conversation? On the other hand, she IS a mother of two active boys, so maybe she’s had to de-gum their clothes from time to time… At least I *think* that’s what degum means.

I hope whoever invented Words With Friends is now a gazillion-aire. He/she definitely deserves it. The game is addicting, mesmerizing, enslaving, habit-forming, darn it there I go again! See? I’m obsessed with words. Thank goodness I picked the right career for it.
What about you? As a writer, author or reader, do you love words? Do you play Words With Friends?



Alyssa Kress said...

I hope degum really means to remove gum, because that would imply it's possible! Words with Friends should be paying you for this excellent advertisement. Now I want to play!

Kathy Bennett said...

I would get slaughtered in this game! I'll stick to my reality TV, thank you!

Glad you're having fun!

Carly Carson said...

This is all I know about that game. Long story short, we had to take our teen to the ER one night for a serious injury. We're waiting and waiting. Midnight rolls around, and she's still on her phone (lying in bed). I said what in the world are you doing at this hour? She was playing that game with one of her siblings and also with a summer friend who was away at college. At midnight. In the ER. With a head injury. It must be seriously addictive.

Brenda said...

I'm an addict.
Come find me :-)

Robena Grant said...

I don't play video games but my daughter does. I'll have to ask her about it. I won't play it with her though, she always beats me at Scrabble. ; )

Jenna Ives said...

Carly -
What can I say? It IS an addicting game :)


Unknown said...

I play the dratted game with my daughters, who I'm sure use some cheat program, or at least read the rules at some point because I'm ashamed to say, they beat me on a regular basis. It seems I'm always setting them up for the triple word tiles or I end up with nothing but vowels to play.
Our games take days, sometimes weeks as none of us can devote exclusive time to the pursuit. 22 games at once? When do you have time to eat? LOL

Jenna Ives said...

Roz -
I confine myself to only playing from 9 - 10pm in the evening, otherwise it really WOULD become an obsession :)

Thanks for your comment!

Natasha Moore said...

LOL Roz. I get stuck with nothing but vowels all the time. I don't think the game likes me. It's a rare day if I win a game with Jenna - but it's still fun :)