An American researcher is making waves with his criticism of Scrabble's scoring system. Joshua Lewis argues that the scores set by the game's creator, Alfred Butts, in 1938 are out of date, and has created a computer program that he says better reflects how those letters are used.
"As an enthusiastic amateur player I've annoyed several relatives with words like QI and ZA, and I think the annoyance is justified," Mr. Lewis writes. "The values for Scrabble tiles were set when such words weren't acceptable, and they make challenging letters much easier to play."
Do you think the scoring needs to change? Readers shared their thoughts and pet peeves about Scrabble:
"Yes. The rules should reflect our changing vocabulary. There are many words now that clearly did not exist in 1938, especially on the tech side (e.g. Google and Skype are verbs)."
Byren Innes, Toronto
How long have you been playing Scrabble? 40+ years
"No. I'm sorry, but 'za' is not a word, and I don't care what the Scrabble dictionary says. It's clearly a contraction and should not be allowed."
Ken Breadner, Waterloo Ont.
How long have you been playing Scrabble? 35+ years
"No, it is sacrosanct! Nothing! It is a perfect game!"
Adam Stikuts, Montreal
How long have you been playing Scrabble? 18 years
"Definitely not. There is a notion of tradition associated with the game. I think true Scrabble enthusiasts enjoy having the challenge of knowing two-letters like Qi. If makers want to change rules, having an alternative way to score would allow players to decide what rules they would like to use before allows some flexibility for all."
Jamie Ly, Toronto
How long have you been playing Scrabble? 21 years
"The scoring is fine. The only Scrabble rule I would change is being able to pick up blanks if you have that letter."
Jenn Block, Regina
How long have you been playing Scrabble? 22 years
"No. Get rid of 'words' like qi and za that are not in any other dictionary on the planet except the Scrabble dictionary."
K. Walsh, Halifax
How long have you been playing Scrabble? 20 years
"Only if it means I can win when I spell 'cat' over and over again. Or if I can make that person - who messed up my chance to spell 'oxidize' by putting a T in the only place I could use it - eat their tile.
"Make people use their uncommon, point-stealing words in non-self-referencing sentences before they spout out 'It's in the Scrabble dictionary, don't you know what zqprixk means'."
Neal Burgess, Calgary
How long have you been playing Scrabble? On and off for 40 minutes, when does this game ever end?
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