Scrabble Traditionalists Fight Proposed Scoring System

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

read more poetry Scrabble (tworeviewphotography/flickr)

What's the value of a letter? In a game like Wheel of Fortune vowels cost you money and consonants earn you points.

But in the game of Scrabble it's nearly the opposite where the very common vowels hold small values, while the rarer letters are more sought after.

According to researcher Joshua Lewis, the old Scrabble scoring system no longer accurately reflects a letter's worth. And while the addition of short words and regional words have resulted in a skewed point distribution, Scrabble traditionalists believe the proposed scoring system change would be catastrophic to the game.

In an interview with The Telegraph, Philip Nelkon, Scrabble's U.K. representative, said: "It is not a game where fairness is paramount, it is a game of luck and changing the tile values wouldn't achieve anything."

John Chew is the co-president of the North American Scrabble Association. Joshua Lewis is a postdoctoral scholar at the University of California, San Diego. He developed a system that would change the value of certain letters.

Guests:

John Chew and Joshua Lewis

Produced by:

Arwa Gunja

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