Saturday, April 19, 2008

The "ZEN" of Scrabble

Last night we were playing a game we have come to like with some friends. The game is Quiddler. It is not unlike scrabble but you play with cards instead of tiles and a board. It is sort of a cross between scrabble and gin. One of our friends played the word "Zen". Since Rachel and I know that this is considered a proper noun, we raised our eyebrows. Our "Zen" playing friend adamantly defended her word saying that it has come into common use at this point and is now a state of mind and no longer solely a proper noun. She and I went back and forth a bit about this and I decided to let it go since I would rather have a pleasant time than prove somebody wrong in a game.

All that being said, the following photos go out to our friend A-Rob:

Do you see a ZEN listed? I don't either.


jennyf said...

Why are you using the "Official Scrabble Dictionary " for a game which you yourself say is NOT Scrabble?

Your friend is quite right - "zen "has slipped into current usage. It means calm,relaxed, unflappable.

Jeremy Blanchard said...

I suppose the problem then becomes, where do you draw the line? What about product words that have come to define the category:

Anonymous said...

It might mean "calm" in the common parlance, but if the OED hasn't accepted a lower-case definition then it shouldn't be accepted any more than Buddhism would be. Proper noun. Oxford English Dictionary--ultimate authority.