Aarrghh!

Wednesday, July 2, 2008 at 11:54 PM | Filed under , ,

I'm up in Bellingham, helping my aunts set up for the 2008 Red, White, and Blue Fourth of July Celebration Blast (that's what we've named our party this Friday). After it got dark and started getting stormy, we quit setting up tents and went inside to play Word Yahtzee, a game I found at Value Village a few years ago.

My aunts love to play word games like Scrabble and Upwords, so they each have a little electronic Scrabble dictionary which is also good for "cheating", so they couldn't resist pulling them out at the beginning of the game. We had to play Word Yahtzee in turns, and after a while, when it wasn't my turn, it got a little boring, so I picked up one of the electronic dictionaries and asked it to tell me all of the words of any length—in other words, to provide me with a list of every word. I went through "aa" (rough, cindery lava), "aal" (an East Indian shrub), "aalii" (a tropical tree), "aardvark", and "aardwolf". Then I came across "aarrghh"!

Understand that I was playing with the Official Scrabble Players Dictionary: apparently an authoritative dictionary of words that are acceptable for use while playing Scrabble. Who decided that "aarrghh" is an acceptable word? It's not in the online dictionaries of Merriam-Webster, Cambridge, or Oxford. Why does the Scrabble dictionary say that "aarrghh" is okay, but "whah" and "teehee" are not?

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