Posted in English 1103, Scrabble, Teaching

ENG 1103: Literary Letter Play

This final Scrabble post of the semester features the names of authors and characters that are playable words. Learning these will not only increase your word power (and up your game), it will also broaden your knowledge of literature. If you haven’t read some of classics listed here, I encourage you to check them out.

  • eyre: a long journey (the last name of of the title character in Charlotte Bronte’s Jane Eyre, 1847)
  • dickens: a devil (Charles Dickens, 1812-1870)
  • fagin: a person, usually an adult, who instructs others, usually children, in crime (from a character of that type in Dickens’ Oliver Twist)
  • holden: the past participle of hold (Holden Caulfield, the protagonist in J.D. Salinger’s The Catcher in the Rye)
  • huckleberry: a berry like a blueberry (the first name of the title character in Mark Twain’s Adventures of Hucklebery Finn, 1884)
  • oedipal: describing libidinal feelings of a child toward the parent of the opposite sex (from the title character in Sophocles’ Oedipus Rex, c. 429 B.C.)
  • quixote: a quixotic, or extremely idealistic person; also quixotry, a quixotic action or thought (the title character in Michael de Cervantes’ Don Quixote, Part I: 1605, Part II: 1615)

Could the words in the hypothetical game featured in the image at the top of this post be the first plays in an actual game of Scrabble? They couldn’t be the first two plays, but they could be the first three. “Huckleberry” with the “b” on the center square/double-word bonus square would be worth fifty-eight points, but “huckleberry” has eleven letters, and the first player, or team, could not play more than seven letters. But the first play could be “berry” for twenty-eight points. The second player, or team, could follow with “q-u-i-x-o-t” to the left of the “e” in in berry for twenty-five points. Then the first player, or team, could add h-u-c-k-l-e to “berry” for a total of twenty-five points.

Next Up

Beginning at noon on Monday, May 1, you and your classmates will deliver your exam-period presentations. As you prepare, review the directions for rehearsing on your assignment sheet.

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