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Subject: What do you do about fake words? rss

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Zoe M
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What do you do when someone plays a word that isn't real?

I don't really want to be pulling out the dictionary all the time to check whether a word is real, so I would like there to be some risk for the person playing the sketchy word.

We tried using Scrabble challenge rules, where another player can challenge the word and whoever is wrong misses their turn, but the risk for the challenger seemed too great, so no one ever challenged and several invented words got through.

When we play a game like Boggle where each individual word doesn't matter that much, we normally just say that no dubious words are allowed; if other people aren't sure about it, it doesn't count. But in Paperback every word matters much more, so it seems that people just can't help pushing the boundaries with imaginary words.

Does anyone have any ideas? What works for you?

Thanks in advance for any input!
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Bryan Thunkd
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Just flustergate them.
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Garry Rice
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Perkasie
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We just play by Scrabble challenge rules if playing ultra competetively, but just keep a dictionary handy in a friendly game that can be used by anyone anytime.

Alternatively I suppose you could try something like the loser of the challenge draws one less card next turn, but in this game that's close to losing a turn
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Mike Adams
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Give them fake points, and maybe a fake win in the end.
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Harry Hammermueller
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Cedar Grove
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We don't allow the word if it looks sketchy and no-one else as ever heard of it. I guess that means that some good words may not be allowed, but the person has always been able to rearrange their letters to come up with a more acceptable word. I wouldn't want to slow the game down by challenges and word checking.
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Del Turner
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If the problem is too much risk for the challenger, then maybe change the penalty for him being wrong. Using existing mechanics, maybe the challenged player gets some ยข cubes of he's right.
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Kevin Garnica
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I don't understand threads like this. The root of the "problem" is two-fold:

1) Why would you play with people whom you believe to make up words (cheating) in the first place?

2) Why, if your opponent(s) are moral and upstanding people, would you not trust them?
 
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Zoe M
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pacman88k wrote:
I don't understand threads like this. The root of the "problem" is two-fold:

1) Why would you play with people whom you believe to make up words (cheating) in the first place?

2) Why, if your opponent(s) are moral and upstanding people, would you not trust them?


I don't understand responses like this. I play with humans, not computers. Humans don't necessarily *know* with 100% certainty whether a word is real or not.

At the root of your response is a misunderstanding of how language works. People "make up" words all the time, following standard rules. We can generally add -s to a noun to form a plural, and we can often add -er to a verb to form a noun. But this doesn't always work. Sometimes the standard word is "children" rather than "childs", or "mediator" rather than "mediater". I don't think someone who incorrectly writes "mediater" is an immoral person. Nor do I think that I should accept "childs" as a legitimate word on the basis of my opponent's upstanding character.

And of course, the standard for including a word in a dictionary isn't absolutely clearcut either. At some point in the past 15 years or so, some (immoral?) person coined the term "amazeballs". There followed a period of time when the word increased in familiarity, until it was finally included in the Oxford English Dictionary last August. Do you and your upstanding opponents all keep up-to-date on the newest additions, so that you know for sure which words are "real"? Or are you happy to allow any new word that your buddy coined last week? Or if you draw the line somewhere between, then where is it?

Basically, are you saying that you just allow all misspellings etc., since your opponents are good people? And do you find that this creates a satisfying game experience for everyone? Do you apply similar standards to other games ("Oh, it doesn't matter that you made an illegal move, since you mean well"), or do you hold word games to a lower standard?
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