A Confession: I Am Not Good At Scrabble
My name is Carly and I have a word game problem.
And it’s not that I don’t like them, I do. It’s just that whenever someone digs out the Scrabble board I get some form of “Oooh, better watch out with wordy over here,” cue wry smile and wink in my direction.
Apparently, as a writer I am supposed to be better than average at word games. In the past, people have actually wanted to be on my team, believing that I will carry them to victory, which after years of being picked last for all sports, was a short-lived novelty. I am supposed to have access to a wide and readily available vocabulary and the ability to navigate my way to triple word scores with ease. Yet through years of frustration, disappointment and trying to convince people that QXULPLA really is a word, honest, I’ve realised that this is not the case. At all.
I’m not bad at word games, I’m just not excellent or as good as I’m expected to be. I do like to think that I have a fairly ample vocabulary; it just deserts me any time there is a board in front of me or I’m looking at my team-mate, watching as their expectant grin slides into worry as they realise I’m not as ‘alright with big words’ as they had been led to believe.
This isn’t just restricted to word games either; I’m also routinely frustrated with spelling and spelling requests from others who presume I know how to spell ‘quixotically’ without batting an eyelash. Again, I am pretty adequate at spelling – I have to be, with a writing degree I definitely should be, but the truth is that I have the benefit of being able to rely on spell-checkers on most of my work. And you know what? I love that red squiggly line that tells me when things are spelt wrong, I really do.
Please tell me I’m not alone in this. Does anyone else share my Scrabble shame? Or are there other things that people presume you’re the best ever at just because you’re a writer/teacher/astronaut?