Tuesday 2 November 2010

My Word!

Wearing a shocking pink wig, PVC dress and lacy gloves, Mikki Nicholson is the new British Scrabble champion, beating Mark Nyman – the 4-times previous winner [and the only Brit to ever win the World Title]
winner mikki 2010

‘The best word I played was “inficete”, as it changed the flow of the game – and my best move was when I played “tenor”, as it allowed me to open up the board for me to play a high-scoring K,’ said the flamboyant victor, who will use the £1,500 prize to enter a tournament in Malaysia – the famed Causeway Scrabble Challenge, with a £50,000 prize pot.

"Obeisant", which means obedient or showing respect, proved crucial in the deciding fifth game, scoring 86 points.

Some of the winning words in the 5game final had me wondering…they included ‘inficete’ (not witty), ‘oceanaut’ (undersea explorer), ‘winna’ (will not), yagi, a directional antenna, and ‘nads’ (slang – testicles)

Here’s the winning board

scrabble game

I am really not sure about slang words  [e.g. motza -a large amount of money, and ofay - a derogatory term for a white person] and as for winna and nads – are they really gonna make all these abbreviated words acceptable? My inner Lynn Truss is deeply disturbed. And my spell checker certainly doesn’t recognise them.

We have an Oxford English Reference Dictionary [huge and very heavy!] which we use as our arbiter for family Scrabble games.

OED ref D

I am struggling to help my pupils broaden their vocabulary, but how can I encourage them to produce better pieces of writing if these words are considered appropriate? Or am I just a grumpy old pedant?

Last week I asked a girl for a synonym for ‘angry’ and she said decrupted. I asked if she meant disgusted and she said no, decrupted. Not decrepit?

“No Miss, decrupted”

“But I don’t think that is a real word”

“Oh it is Miss, it’s on the Internet”

“But not everything you find on the Internet is actually true you know!”

“No Miss, it is a real word, honest”

Well, I have since checked it out – and it seems to be a computer term somewhere between decrypted, corrupted and encrypted – and I am not even sure about that [it may be a typographical error]. It certainly isn’t a synonym for angry. But my pupil is still convinced that if she read it on the screen [“It was on the PC in the Village Library, Miss!”] it must be absolutely genuine!

I do sometimes wish my pupils were more obeisant towards their teacher!

jack hurst btw, recent Countdown Octochamp, Jack Hurst, is a local lad [I know his grandmother – I’m shamelessly name-dropping here!] Some Leicestershire pupils leave school with good vocabularies!


  1. I'm a grumpy old pedant with you, I hate the way our language is being hi jacked.

  2. Unfortunately the world of computers and texting are making us unable to spell!

  3. As a founding member of the "Fuddy Duddy" club..words fail me!


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