In a stunning turn of events, Nigel Richards, it turns out that the new French Scrabble champion, can barely speak a word of French. In preparation for his participation in the World championship for Francophone scrabble, Richards memorized all 386,000 words present in the French Scrabble dictionary in a mere nine weeks. As former president of the New Zealand Scrabble Association said, “He doesn’t speak French at all, he just learned the words. He won’t know what they mean, wouldn’t be able to carry out a conversation in French I don’t think.”
Despite his inability to speak French, Richards still managed to claim victory against his French-speaking opponents. His feat reminds players of an unusual truth often forgotten in the world of Scrabble. Scrabble, like many games, is a game of strategy. Instead of knights, bishops, and pawns, the game pieces are words and Richards acquired all 386,000 of them for his arsenal. The meaning associated with each word or the context in which they are used is irrelevant to him. To Richards, it is almost as though they are not words but valid combinations of letters that he can use to play.
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This post was written by Annie Cui