Word Games or How Words with Friends may leave you feeling depressed, because your friends always use the triple word square, and they always win with words like qi and xi.

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This post is dedicated to Mike S., a guy who – for years – has surpassed me with his knowledge of music and art. And now, in this age of Facebook, he surpasses me with his knowledge of words and his skill in the game “Words with Friends”.*

I have always had a thing for word games. When I was little, I would watch my Mom play Jumble, which was printed in the comics section of the newspaper. Eventually, I started to ‘jumble’ with my Mom often asking the question, “Is this a word I know?”

During the car ride to Amherst Shore (a 3-day journey), my Mom and I would play Jumble in our head, by calling out letters the other person was to jumble properly into the correct word. Well, my Mom would play it in her head. I had to put pen to paper to turn the letters she gave me into words.

Perhaps it comes as no surprise that the game of Scrabble is a favorite of mine. When I purchased my Nook, I was thrilled – in part – because I could play Scrabble by myself whenever the mood hit. To date, the mood has hit every day since the purchase of the Nook. Is that a problem?

When Words with Friends appeared on Facebook, I paid little to no attention to it. I thought it might be fun, but I knew my time on Facebook was minimal. I did not realize the game could be played over a period of several days (or weeks).

I forget if I first started the game with someone, or if I accepted a request from someone. Regardless of how it started, I was hooked. I am hooked.

I look forward to every notification indicating it is my turn to create and place a word on the game board. And, for the most part, I enjoy myself and the friendly competition with my friends. I say for the most part because I am in the midst of a losing streak, a serious losing streak. And the losing streak is with the same person.

My nemesis in the game of life Words with Friends is Mike S. He is quick, he is sharp, and he will not waver with his word choice. It matters not if Mike is 10 behind or 200 ahead, he plays hard, wanting no names and taking no prisoners.

During one game, I pleaded for Mike’s mercy. “All I have is vowels.” I said to the man beating me by 200 points.

“Sounds like it is time to exchange your tiles,” he replies.

My chest felt the pain of his knife.

He continued, “I’m certainly not going to throw the game for you.”

I winced in pain, as he drove the knife further into my chest.

In an amazing twist of fate, I actually came from behind and won that particular game. No, you’re right. I’m lying. I didn’t come from behind, nor did I win the game. But in my dream I won the game. Thank goodness for my dreams.

Sometimes, when I am playing Words with Friends while sitting on the couch with the boys, Joe enjoys looking over my shoulder and watching me play.

“Who’s winning?” My 7yr old asks.

“Mike is winning.” I say.

“He’s always winning, Mommy.”

*sigh* Et tu, Brute? Et tu?

Happily, because Joe and Charlie enjoy watching me play Words with Friends, the three of us are now enjoying the game of Scrabble on my Nook.

The love of word games has come full circle. I love playing word games with my boys, as much as I loved playing word games with my Mom. The fact that I remain the undefeated champion with my kids has everything nothing to do with it.

*For the record, Mike rarely has to use the word qi or xi to pull a win. Generally speaking, I am the one using those words in a feeble attempt to close the ever increasing gap between our scores.

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35 thoughts on “Word Games or How Words with Friends may leave you feeling depressed, because your friends always use the triple word square, and they always win with words like qi and xi.

    • Playing with Mike is like pouring salt over my wound, Beth Ann. (smile) With each start of a new game, I tell myself THIS will be the one I win. Well, he and I have started a new game, and he is already winning. I am down – but I am not out. Hear that, Mike?! I am NOT out! 😀

      • I totally understand…totally!!! I think “we” should play, Lenore!!! I would love it ! My “handle” is BAChiles or Beth Ann Brown Chiles if you go through Facebook.

    • Kim, whilst ’tis true I have had a higher score than you on occasion, you are always the winner in my mind.

      Huh? Huh? Did ya like it? Huh? Huh? By the way. It’s your turn. No pressure.

  1. Did you know that there are apps people have that look at the letters they have and give them the words? What’s the point if you’re going to do that.

    not you, them

    • I wonder if that is what Mike is doing … No, I tease. He is not the type to use an app or dictionary.
      While I am not surprised ‘there is an app for that’, it makes me sad to think people would use the app and find pleasure in playing the game.
      I like playing the honest way – even if it makes me a loser. 🙂

    • Karyn… thank you for the tip. I used “jo” yesterday, and I am certain I will use it again – several times. I had to chuckle at your nemesis pulling out the ‘z’ on a double word. Said in the Seinfeld tone of frustration, “Newman!” 🙂

  2. I have had as many as 20 games going at any one time. My older son just beat me for the first time ever – he is probably still doing a happy dance. I am weaning myself off – down to 4 games currently and when those are done I am taking a break until my surgery…I plan on playing lots during my recovery.

    I have a cousin that beats me every time with crazy words no one ever uses in normal conversation or writing. I’ve had to look them up. I’m with Oma – where is the fun in that?

    Too bad I am taking a hiatus from WWF – or I’d send you a request!!!

    • Oh. I am grateful my Mom is not on FB. She is most excellent at Scrabble, as are two of my sisters.
      You pulled a word worth 108 points, Jackie?! I bow down to you. I’ve seen it done by others – but that is a feat I’ve never managed. Yet. (smile)

  3. I haven’t even gotten started with online word games, but they run in my family, too! Someone mentioned Spider Solitaire in a blog post one day, and now I’m hooked.

    • Steve, based on your reading and science background, I suspect you will be my newest nemesis. That said, you don’t scare me. Bring it on, my friend. Bring it on. (And please excuse my use of Qi, Xi, and Jo.)

  4. Thank goodness I have no personal knowledge of this time-sucker, because I know I would be hooked like a fish if I ever tried it. But good for you for fostering a love of words with your kids!

    • There are worse things to be hooked to, eh Peg? I can’t play these word games and eat Ben & Jerry’s at the same time. Interestingly enough, I’ve lost 10 pounds! (I jest. I have not lost 10lbs, and I will always make time for Ben and Jerry.)

  5. I have a couple of friends who routinely walloped me on that, the couple of weeks I was using it! I had to cut the cord when I realized it was doubling my time on Facebook.

    I do delight in the thought of playing it with Li’l D someday. 🙂

    • I should have mentioned how Rob and I played Jumble on our first date. He and I went to Macaroni Grill, where the table cloths are paper, and they leave you with crayons. We covered the table with Jumbles, perhaps overstaying our welcome. Games with words is fun!

  6. I know so many people addicted to this! I suck at Scrabble though so I’d probably suck at this too — my problem is my vocabulary is still stuck at the reading level of Beverly Cleary books. I do like doing the Jumble though. Growing up, I remember my mom always tearing out the Jumble. It must be a mom thing.

    • Well, it WAS a Mom thing, Angie. I’m not even sure they still print the Jumble in the papers. Shoot – I’m not sure there are papers anymore. (Kidding. I know there are papers.)
      My Mom also likes Cryptoquotes. THOSE are hard.
      Reading level of Beverly Cleary… I doubt that, though I did get a great chuckle out of it.

  7. I’ve always loved Scrabble. Last year, I started playing Lexulous online, although it seemed so similar to Scrabble that I wondered what the appeal was. Now this new game, again, appears to be another Scrabble imitation, yet it’s wildly popular. Any idea why? Is there something about it that makes it easier to play online?

    • Good to see you, Charles. I appreciate your visit.
      I think playing online allows you to play without relying on a living partner. I’ve asked Rob to play the board game of Scrabble several times, but he really isn’t a board game kind of guy. The fact that I can play Scrabble on my Nook or WWF via Facebook lets me get my word fix. Though, I still prefer playing with a real human being, using real game pieces.

  8. I love wordswithfriends!!! I use to okay until it messed up and ihad to uninstall it and never reinstall it. I miss it. If I ever install again, I’ll look you up. Try to anyway.

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