Posted in English 1103, Scrabble, Teaching

ENG 1103: Parallel Play and Two-Letter Words Beginning with A

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 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: whoahe, 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).

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 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.

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