Wednesday, 16 April 2014

Scrabble babble

Fun thought of the day: along the lines of people preferring right-handed QWERTY words, I've often wondered if certain people have an unconscious tendency to prefer words that score well in Scrabble. You know, words with lots of H's, Q's, Y's, K's, etc. Obviously it would only apply to the Scrabble-playing subset of the population (and probably only the nerdiest players at that), but I wouldn't be too surprised if it turned out to be a measurable - if tiny - effect. Scrabble is a fairly popular game after all, and pretty much everyone plays it at least a little bit as a kid. I've noticed it in myself at least (I think this is at least 30% of the reason I like Python so much). Consider the following examples of high-scoring words (of which "example" would be an example, I guess):


Now compare with the following similar-ish words:


Doesn't the first list just seem better, somehow? I know it does to me. Now, granted, maybe it doesn't to you - and even if it does, that could easily just be because I've primed you for it. Still, as I said, it's a fun thought. Some bored psychology grad student should probably look into this.