Monday, September 8, 2008


While it rained Saturday afternoon, I challenged my friend Neil to a little game of Scrabble.

Shaming myself as a former English major, I lost, 209 to 258.

Nevertheless, here is an amusing (and useful) excerpt from A.J. Jacobs's "The Know-It-All," the memoir in which Jacobs recounts his attempt to read thirty-two volumes of the Encyclopaedia Britannica: "I've actually dabbled in reference books before. After college, I spent a couple days poring over Webster's dictionary--but mostly I was looking for two-letter words that I could use in Scrabble to make annoyingly clever moves. (I was kind of unemployed at the time.) And that turned out to be a very successful experience. You can bet your bottom xu (Vietnam monetary unit) that I kicked the butt of my jo (Scottish slang for girlfriend) without even putting on a gi (karate outfit)."

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