Posted in English 1103, Scrabble, Teaching

ENG 1103: Parallel Play

Parallel play increases your score through the points you earn by spelling more than one word in a single turn. In the first play of the hypothetical game pictured above, the team would score sixteen points by spelling enact with the t on the center double word square. With the second turn, the other team could take advantage of the opportunity for parallel play. If the team knew that aa is a type of lava, they could earn twenty-four points with four words: whoa, he, on, and aa.

Two-Letter Words Beginning with A

Aa is one of sixteen playable two-letter words beginning with a. Learning these two-letter words, as well as the others that follow in the alphabet, will enable you to see more options for play and increase the number of points you earn in a single turn.

  • aa: a type of stony, rough lava
  • ab: an abdominal muscle
  • ad: an advertisement
  • ae: one
  • ag: agriculture
  • ah: an exclamation
  • ai: a three-toed sloth
  • al: a type of East Indian tree
  • am: the first-person singular present form of to be
  • an: an indefinite article
  • ar: the letter r
  • as: similar to
  • at: in the position of
  • aw: an expression of sadness or protest
  • ay: a vote in the affirmative (also aye)

Important Note about Challenges

The game rules inside the Scrabble box top do not specify that a player or team that challenges a playable word will lose a turn, but David Bukszpan’s book Is That a Word? notes that the player or team does lose a turn. According to Bukszpan:

“[I]f a word is challenged and found not to be legal (called a phony in Scrabble parlance), the player that set it down loses a turn. Conversely, if a challenged word is found to be playable, the challenger loses his turn” (19).

Work Cited

Bukszapan, David. Is That a Word?: From AA to ZZZ, the Weird and Wonderful Language of SCRABBLE. Chronicle, 2012. p.19.


Coming Soon

At the beginning of class on Monday, September 5, I will collect your completed worksheet for Lesson Two of the Check, Please! starter course. If you are absent tomorrow when I distribute worksheets or you misplace your copy, you can download and print one from Blackboard or here:

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