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Words with Friends®

My word is invalid?!

Like Alec Baldwin, I’m addicted to Words with Friends. I can’t help myself. When I see a row of jumbled letters I get a rush of excitement and a compulsion to create the best words I can out of those letters. I’ll challenge people on Facebook that I don’t normally talk to just so I can feed my craving with minimal waiting between plays. In fact, I have a game going on right now against my favorite cousin, who lives in Brazil.

As I look at the letters I was dealt, I beam. Instantly, I see the perfect seven-letter word — one that will use all of my tiles in a single turn. The bonus points will be phenomenal. And the extra points I’ll get by placing this word alongside another word, thus creating two words at once? Well, that’s just the icing on the cake.

I wait patiently for hours for my cousin to take her turn already and give me my opportunity to shine. Finally, it’s my turn to play. I take a minute to rearrange the tiles so they once again spell my word worthy of a screenshot posted on my wall. I carefully place each tile on the board. I get butterflies as my cursor hovers over the play button.

Then my butterflies turn into bats.

My word is invalid! I type the word in a Word document and affirm that I have the correct spelling. So I turn to Wikipedia, where my confusion turns into incredulity.

You know that round plastic disc you throw around in the park? Your dog catches it in his teeth. You accidentally hit unsuspecting picnickers and sunbathers with it. A Frisbee®. Yeah. Turns out the word “Frisbee” is a registered trademark, owned by the Wham-O toy company. Add another word to the pile of brand names that have become more or less generic, like iPod®, Q-tips®, Kleenex® and — my personal favorite — Velcro®. That last one I found out about when watching “Penn and Teller Tell a Lie” on the Discovery Channel and I couldn’t understand why they kept saying “hook and loop fastener.”

Back to my game: I played the word “BRIEFS” instead, for 4+1+1+1+4+1 with a DL on the “F” for 8 and a DW, plus 7 points for “YOUR,” the other word I simultaneously created, for a grand total of 46 points. Not bad. How about it, Baldwin? Up for a game?

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