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Comment: A well-cared-for item that has seen limited use but remains in great condition. The item is complete, unmarked, and undamaged, but may show some limited signs of wear. Item works perfectly. Pages and dust cover are intact and not marred by notes or highlighting. The spine is undamaged.
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Is That a Word?: From AA to ZZZ, the Weird and Wonderful Language of SCRABBLE Hardcover – September 19, 2012

3.9 out of 5 stars 60 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Review

"A fresh, amusing, 21st-century guide to everything Scrabble." 
-Will Shortz, crossword editor, New York Times, and puzzlemaster, NPR


"Guides and manuals tend to be grim, charmless things. But not this one! If you consider SCRABBLE (and/or its digital knockoffs) a small key pillar of modern civilization--or even just an intellectually nutritious way of killing time with friends and family--why wouldn't you immediately buy a book as smart and literate and companionable as the game you love to play?" 
-Kurt Andersen, host of Studio 360 


"It's more than a dictionary or list of words to memorize. The way it's arranged by categories should make it easier to recall the words when next you play. And there are lots of surprises." -Psychology Today

"Bukszpan makes learning some of the Scrabblish basics a lot of fun." -CNET

"Bukszpan begins with a well-researched history of the origins and evolution of Scrabble and then moves on to discuss words that can be used when playing the game. While admitting that the official Scrabble dictionary is the final authority, the author provides some unusual words and their backgrounds. The illustrations are few but are quaint and antique looking, as in old pen-and-ink sketches. The book describes mutations of the game as well as records that have been set and includes useful lists, curious facts, and a Scrabblish dictionary."
-School Library Journal


"4 stars" -LitPick

From the Back Cover

Za. Cwm. Alaska. Laura. Juba. Qi. Magneto. Rousseau. Tsktsk.
What do these words have in common?
Knowing them will help you master the board in games from SCRABBLE to Words With Friends and beyond.
Part strategy guide, part celebration of all things wordy, Is That a Word? explores the often bizarre-but totally playable-words in the SCRABBLE dictionary. Combining tips, tricks, facts, word lists, and more, each page helps take an obsession with word games to the next level.
Is That a Word? is your ticket to total word domination. 
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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 176 pages
  • Publisher: Chronicle Books; 9.1.2012 edition (September 19, 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1452108242
  • ISBN-13: 978-1452108247
  • Product Dimensions: 6.2 x 0.6 x 8.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 15.2 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (60 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #149,768 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By Fran Galt on October 17, 2012
Format: Hardcover
This is an enjoyable read for a Scrabble buff, and a newcomer to the competitive Scrabble world would surely pick up a few new words. That said, however, the author and publisher do their audience no favor in their sloppy proofreading, which might result in adding unacceptable words to readers' Scrabble vocabularies. My cursory reading found four such errors:

On page 52, the nonword UNIDEAD should be replaced with the intended UNIDEAED.
On page 58, the nonword STENTO should be replaced with the intended STENTOR.
On page 89, the nonword OUTBALL should be replaced with the intended OUTBAWL.
On page 105, the nonword VIZSLAL should be replaced with the intended VIZSLA.

Some of Bukszpan's strategies may also be helpful to the novice, but his statement (page 113) that if your opening rack is AEINORT "the best thing to do is actually to pass," hoping your opponent will set up a bingo for your next play, is naive. This is an obvious strategy that would fool no competitive opponent, who (unless he could play a bingo) would simply use the opportunity for a free exchange of undesirable tiles, leaving you facing the same situation as before against a better-equipped opponent.
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Format: Hardcover
This book is a great introduction to the history,rules and word possibilities in the world of scrabble.
If you are unfamiliar with Scrabble and the many similar word games such as "Words With Friends",Lexulous",Bananagrams",etc;this book will give you some small idea of some of the wild,unusual and seldom heard or used words that get accepted in Scrabble.If you are an avid Scrabble player ,the various rules will be "old Hat" to you ,but at least you should find many words here to add to your repertoire or arsenal,or whatever it is called in Scrabble.There is a fairly extensive list of Scrabble books you might want to look into,as well as a list of the Dictionaries that are accepted to resolve arguments as to whether or not words are legitimate.There is no Index of the words given in the book,so it may be difficult refinding a word in the future.Just to give you an idea of some very unusual words you'll find in the book,here's a sample:

Lev:the currency of Bulgaria

Sybo: a variety of onion also known as the Welsh onion(also cibol)

Mot: a witty remark

Eft: a newt

Dene: a valley

Milt: to fertilize with fish sperm

Haar:a fog

Nucha:the nape of the neck

Spliff: a marijuana cigarette

Squiffy:inebriated

All these and hundreds more right here for the taking,but don't be surprised if you friends want to avoid playing with you and suggest playing Horseshoes instead or maybe a boxing match,as dueling with pistols is no longer in style.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Love this book for the word ideas. When we play scrabble and boggle I just need a strange word for the challenge. I have a collection of word books, ( because I seem to have no memory) and this one will really be fun because of the oddity of the words. Great Fun!!
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
To begin with, to point out the obvious, the book was published in 2012 and thus does not cover anything in or about the Official Scrabble Players' Dictionary, Fifth Edition, published a year ago in August, 2014.

I bought this as a $1.99 "deal," and when I'd read the first part of it, I emailed a friend saying "I think you'd like this, grab it at the bargain price." Now I feel as if I gave her a bum steer. Everyone likes different things, of course, but I think it's a shame that Amazon doesn't give a "Look Inside the Book" on this one. You really need to decide whether you are interested in the last 3/4 of the book.

The first part, Part 1, "The Story of Scrabble and Beyond," amounts to 25% of the book. I liked it. It has a lot of information on game history, history of the rival word lists and dictionaries. It has interesting observations, comments, and criticism of the word choices and definitions in "The Official Scrabble Players' Dictionary." It has some interesting records--words with maximum possible scores and such--and historical curiosa ("the lowest winning score ever is currently held by Helena Gauthier, who bet her opponent -9 to -11.")

Part 2 of the book is nothing more than Bukszpan's compilations of themed groups of what he thinks are interesting Scrabble words. Yiddish Scrabble words, Scrabble words that are synonyms for "ghosts," Scrabble words that are names for different kinds of wind, and on and on and on and on and on. I was not charmed by his efforts to string some of these word collections together to give amusing usage examples: "At the next [Scrabble] table is some schlemiel who's schlepped his schlock in with him," etc.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Good gift for scrabble lover. Nicely laid out, so one can sit down and read it, or just pick up and peruse for a few fun, informative minutes.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
The author goes through a list of the more egregious words in the Scrabble dictionary and provides their definitions. It's a lot of fun. I know lots of people simply learn the words but don't care what they mean. I on the other hand want to memorize not only the entire Scrabble dictionary word list, but also what each word means. This book is a good starting point for word nerds...or as I prefer to call us, word birds - raptors set to pounce on the appropriate word at the appropriate time when the tile gods bless us...
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