My friend, Dufþakur, is a sore loser. Once again, I was humiliating him in the game of Scrabble. And once again, he was trying to force some nonsense words into the game.
“BACONTOES,” he said in a state of blissful happiness. “Now, that’s legal!
“No,” I replied for the fourth time. “That’s not a word.”
“Is too!” He cried out, tapping his fingers impatiently on the table. “It’s a synonym for pig-toes.”
“They have hoofs!” I shouted back. “Now, find a decent word or give up.”
Dufþakur turned silent again and focused on his anagram.
As I watched him suffer, I thought about how much I enjoy life. Scrabble is probably the greatest game ever made—and the complexity of Icelandic grammar makes it even better.
Why does anyone bother to play Scrabble in other languages? English nouns are for example very limited. They can only take two forms, singular and plural. That’s nothing! In Iceland we have sixteen—giving us a lot more options, when it comes to adding letters to the end of a word.
The compound words can be a bit of a headache. We glue a lot of words together in Icelandic, which is good for Scrabble. But it can also be tricky to determine whether or not a compound word is ‘legal.’
Adding TENNIS in front of SHOES is neat, but arguing about whether or not paper shoes exist in reality is not so fun; surely, they must exist somewhere—but that place is definitely not the dictionary, that’s for sure.
“I have it!” Dufþakur shouted. He pointed at a new spot on the table. “What about this: BACONVOICE.
To make a long story short: He would not accept my rejection and quit (but only after I said he had a bacon brain—something that means nothing in my world, but seems to be an unforgivable insult in his world).
Jóhannes Benediktsson – firstname.lastname@example.org
Jóhannes is filling in for Katharina today.