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 first player or team would score sixteen points by spelling enact with the t on the center double word square. With the second turn, the other player or 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.
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).
Bukszapan, David. Is That a Word?: From AA to ZZZ, the Weird and Wonderful Language of SCRABBLE. Chronicle, 2012. p.19.
At the beginning of class on Wednesday, January 18, I will collect your completed worksheet for Lesson One 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.