Posted in English 1103, Scrabble, Teaching

ENG 1103: Irritable Vowel Syndrome

What if you begin a game of Scrabble with only vowels? The image above shows what could be the first three words played in a game in which no player (or team) has a consonant. None of the three words yields many points, but the “e” in “oe” offers the opportunity for a player to score a double triple. Playing “be'” or “me” and another word vertically would earn the player eighteen points for the “b” or “m” alone; playing “h” or “w” would earn the player twenty-four points for the “h” or “w” alone.

Often playing a vowel-only word brings opportunities for high scores later. Here are some of the words you can play if you find yourself without consonants:

  • aa: a type of stony, rough lava
  • ae: one
  • ai: a three-toed sloth
  • eau: water (pl. eaux)
  • oe: a whirlwind off the Faero islands
  • oi: an expression of dismay (also oy)

In class someone asked about the pronunciation of aa. It is pronounced ah-ah.

Congratulations to the team of Braeden Thompson and Nate Alleman in the 10:40 class. Braeden and Nate scored a 126-point double-triple play with the word “evaporate,” which they formed by adding the letters “e,” “a,” “t,” and “e” to the word “vapor” played in a previous turn.

Next Up

In class on Monday, September 13, we will explore ways for you to proceed with the revision work that you will begin in class on Wednesday. For class, read the overview to Chapter 2 of Writing Analytically and bring your copy of the textbook to class.

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