Letterati: An Unauthorized Look at Scrabble® and the People Who Play It
Letterati spans the history of competitive Scrabble in North America from the colourful hustlers of the 1960s New York game rooms, to the hard driving quantitative tile pushers who dominate the game today with strategic skills and memorized vocabularies. Yet, there is more to the history of Scrabble than just playing the game. There is a parallel plot line that revolves around many of the top players, who over the years have wanted to see the game develop through the outside sponsorship of tournaments, the unfettered publication of strategy books and the encouragement of a professional class of players. Along the way the reader will learn about how and why the Official Scrabble Dictionary was compiled, then expurgated in 1993, and now is sold to the public without such words as "jew" as a verb, blowjob, or fatso, while club and tournament players have their own word list, where some 200 such words are legal. The book also covers the obsession that Scrabble becomes for those who play seriously, traits that make a top player successful, how gender affects game play, and how teen players are able to rise above their limited educations and life experience to best their elders. There's also a look at the Scrabble trademark and how its so-called required protection by its owners has been used as a justification for prohibiting outside sponsorship of tournaments, the publication of strategy books and the growth of a professional class of players. At the same time, the book provides a glimpse of how the players' enthusiasm for the game has been harnessed so that they have de facto ended up working for free on the owner's PR plantation, publicizing tournaments, putting on promotional events, talking up the game, and sporting Scrabble geegaws, all unwittingly helping to sell ever more Scrabble sets.
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CHAPTER 14Beginnings and Endings
CHAPTER 15Then and Now
CHAPTER 16Life at the Top
CHAPTER 17The Trademark Ball and Chain
CHAPTER 18A Chilling Effect
CHAPTER 19Growing the Game
CHAPTER 20Dont Ask What Hasbro Can Do For You
CHAPTER 21Arrested Development
CHAPTER 6The Measure of a Player
CHAPTER 7Let the Competition Begin
CHAPTER 8Whos the Best?
CHAPTER 9Coming Out of the Parlor
CHAPTER 10As Good As Ones Word
CHAPTER 11The Seven Tile Obsession
CHAPTER 13The Women
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according anamonics best players bingo Brian Cappelletto Brooklyn challenge Chess City clubs and tournaments Coleco Crossword Game Players didn’t event expert player expurgation Felstein Fleahouse Funk & Wagnalls Game Room Goldstein Hasbro Jim Houle Joe Edley Joe Leonard Joel Sherman Joel Wapnick John Williams Kastner Landsberg learned letterati letters Mike Baron Mike Senkiewicz Milton Bradley National Scrabble Association National Scrabble Championship never North American Invitational Official Scrabble Players opponent organized game organized Scrabble OSPD Parker Brothers parlor players phony Ping-Pong points Polatnick Pratt Prinz prize money published rack recalls Ron Tiekert says SCGP Schonbrun score Scrabble Championship Scrabble club Scrabble Crossword Game Scrabble Players Dictionary Scrabble Players Newspaper Scrabble world Selchow & Righter serious Scrabble seven-letter word SOWPODS Steve Stu Goldman There’s tiles top players tournament director tournament Scrabble trademark holder wanted Weissman women word lists word source