Confusion over Abbreviations Rule in Word Game

Tuesday, August 11, 2009 at 2:16 PM | Filed under ,

In the word game Quiddler, players are dealt a hand of cards, each with a letter or two, and the goal is to rearrange the cards so that they form words. On Saturday, I was playing the game with some relatives: Carla, Shelly, and Russell. In one round, Shelly played the word "ad." Russell challenged her play of the word, pointing out in the game instructions that abbreviations are not allowed, and that "ad" is an abbreviation of "advertisement."

We turned to the electronic Official Scrabble Players Dictionary (our family's agreed-upon dictionary—we use it for Boggle and other word games) and found it in there, of course. Russell, however, referred us to the entry in a large print dictionary for "ad," and pointed out that next to the word was an indication that the word is an abbreviation. He then referred us back to the point in the Quiddler rules that abbreviations are not allowed.

I understood his point, but my argument for allowing the word ran along the lines that while being short for "advertisement," "ad" has become a word itself through common usage. It seems that we all discussed this for no less than ten minutes, and Russell didn't seem to care that the word was present in the Scrabble dictionary because it's an abbreviation either way. It got to the point that Shelly withdrew the word herself and asked to just take the 7-point penalty. (The word wasn't even worth very many points!)


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