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The Official Scrabble Players Dictionary Hardcover – June 15, 2005

4.2 out of 5 stars 310 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

About the Author

For more than 150 years, in print and now online, Merriam-Webster has been America's leading and most-trusted provider of language information. All Merriam-Webster products and services are backed by the largest team of professional dictionary editors and writers in America, and one of the largest in the world.

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 704 pages
  • Publisher: Merriam-Webster; 4 edition (June 15, 2005)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0877794200
  • ISBN-13: 978-0877794202
  • Product Dimensions: 9.4 x 6.9 x 1.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 2.2 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (310 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #497,938 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By Daniel L Pratt on November 8, 2005
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
For example, the back cover declares "Features more than 100,000 two-to-eight-letter words, including 4,000 new entries." But there are only about 84,000 such words, of which only around 3,200 are new, even if you treat "entries" as synonymous with "words" in this context.

The front flap claims "All entries are included in a single alphabetical list". If only. While TIDIES and TIDIEST appear together, UNTIDIES and UNTIDIEST do not. REPP and REPPED appear together, but REPPING must be found elsewhere. If you're trying to figure out which of LASER MASER TASER forms a word when spelled backward, you'll probably need to look in more than two places.

The claim that "Main entries include a brief definition (especially useful for less common words)" is open to question. ENOPHILE is defined "oenophile", URSID "a mammal of the family Ursidae"; many are simply defined "a mineral" or "a chemical". However, some are good. GLUCINUM: "a metallic element"?! One of the worst is BENZIDIN, "a hydrocarbon", which will come as a surprise to the nitrogens in the molecule; the spelling has been outdated for decades.

It is true that the book is endorsed by the National Scrabble Association (NSA), and the widely respected publisher Merriam is just reporting what NSA wants. Please don't shoot the messenger. Indeed, Merriam dissuaded NSA from dozens of forms even sillier than the ones highlighted in this review, which unfortunately are only a sampling. Left to its own devices, Merriam could no doubt come up with something much nicer.

The Official Scrabble Players Dictionary (OSPD) is a compilation of words from twelve U.S. college dictionaries from the last four decades.
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Format: Hardcover
So the most interesting thing about this new version of the Official Scrabble Player's Dictionary is the newly added group of words. Unfortunately, none of the new words are indicated in the book in any way. The hard back does have additional helpful word lists in the nback that the paperback does not, such as 2-5 letter words using J,Z,Q, etc.

I would have appreciated a star next to new words or something to that effect. I would also specifically like to know what all the new 2 and 3 letter words are. Overall, this is of course a must for the avid scrabble player, but I'd would like a better description of the methods they used to update it.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
No serious Scrabble can be without this book. The section listing all the Q words that have no U in them is worth the entire investment. Don't even think about it.

Bruce Palmer

Charlotte, VT
2 Comments 15 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
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Format: Hardcover
While it's nice to have an "official" book around when playing, I've always found that any agreed-upon dictionary works just as well--if not better. Also it's a pain to carry a book around, so I'd rather just define the "official" dictionary with whatever dictionary is handy. And now with the internet, it's just as easy to check an online dictionary.

Then again I play scrabble purely for amusement. Perhaps more hardcore players have valid reasons for needing an "official" Scrabble dictionary.
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Format: Hardcover
I grew up loving Scrabble. It was an excellent means of vocabulary development and learning, and an enjoyable one too. I credit the game with immersing me in the standard dictionaries of the day and preparing me for a career that involves extensive reading and rhetoric. No longer. As a result of this foolish dictionary that combs the world for obscure, foreign, and academically unrecognized two-letter words (qi and xu are not English words), foolish abbreviations and slang (enuf and za are not words at all) and silly onomatopoeia (mm and zzz are not words either), the game is no longer about vocabulary development, but about memorizing a list of non-standard letter combinations the meaning of which no one knows and about which no one cares.

If you are a philologist, do not buy this book. It will stunt and warp your vocabulary development and strip a fine game of its original intent and value.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I'm sure all the sanctioned words are in there, but how to find them while in game? There is no search feature and who has time to scroll through the whole alphabet to check your hoped for word? It takes so long! Your friends will chuck you out of the game. Oh, yes they will. Later, when you have no more friends to play with you can scroll and scroll and scroll to use up your now desolate life. :P
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Am I missing something? It takes so much time and effort to page through the KINDLE edition of OSPD4 looking for a word that my husband and I just gave up challenging words while playing SCRABBLE during a recent trip. We'll only challenge words when we're at home and flipping though the print OSPD4 takes seconds. Shouldn't there be some way you can type in a word and quickly end up at the approximately correct place in the KINDLE edition?
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I was very disappointed with my purchase. There is no "find" feature. Unlike a regular hardbound book, you are unable to flip through it to get to the general location of the word you are searching for. It is very time consuming to flip pages in a digital format, to locate your word. I have no use for this book. I have found on-line dictionaries more useful for playing scrabble.
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