x Abu Dhabi, UAEFriday 21 July 2017

Scrabbled language

The gifted young wordsmith will be representing the UAE in the World Scrabble Youth Championship starting on Wednesday.

The year is 1755 and the noted literary giant Samuel Johnson is sanctimonious at having just finished his Dictionary of the English Language, a book that has taken nine long years to complete. A humble butler steps forward and offers him his "most sincerest contrafibularities".

At the sight of a stunned and flustered Dr Johnson, the butler, one Edmund Blackadder, twists the knife further: "Oh I am sorry. I'm anaspeptic, frasmotic, even compunctuous to have caused you such pericombobulation."

Fans of the 1980s BBC show Blackadder will recall this delicious comedic exchange fondly, but opponents of the 12-year-old Scrabble prodigy Dylan D'Souza are more likely to be left seething with frustration like the poor, defeated Dr Johnson.

As reported in The National today, the gifted young wordsmith will be representing the UAE in the World Scrabble Youth Championship starting tomorrow.

Dylan's opponents should beware. He has already claimed the Gulf Scrabble record for one word with a high score of 208, and he didn't have to resort to Blackadder's dastardly tactics to achieve that either. The score was achieved with the relatively simple word "squatter".

Proof that sometimes in Scrabble, if not in the literary world, you don't need to lay it on thick to achieve a nice finish.