Capital letters  


Alex Stone
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First of all, sorry for writing in English.  I speak very little Swedish, but I am interested in how Scrabble is played in different European languages.

In most languages, you can't play acronyms or other words that can only be written with capital letters, and I understood that this rule was the same in Swedish.

However, this seems to be contradicted by the word lists provided on this site (specifically http://scrabbleforbundet.se/ordlistor/) which seem to allow a lot of such words (e.g. BB, BSE, BVC, DDT, DS, ECT, EQ, EU, HPV, IQ, KK, LCA, MVC, PH, PMS, PS, RNA, SM, SOS, TT, UD, USA, VM).

So what is the rule in Swedish Scrabble?

 

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Roland Olsson
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Hi Alex,

the definition of playable words for Swedish competitive Scrabble does indeed differ from the one that you can find on the rule sheet in the Swedish Scrabble board game. 

In short, the definition of playable words during Swedish competitive play is as follows (complete definition can be found at http://scrabbleforbundet.se/regler/ , in section “Godkända ord”):

  • The word list used is SAOL, the 14th edition.
  • Playable words are those that are written in bold text, except for words containing non-alphabetic characters like “/”, “-” or numbers
  • Words with accent marks are playable, with the accent marks removed. E.g. “crêpe” can be played as “crepe” and “pietà’ as “pieta”.
  • Words containing any of the letters q, w, ü or æ are playable, but only with the use of a blank.

However, it hasn’t always been like this. The clause that defines all words in bold text as playable has been in the rules since the first version of the rules from 1999. There was also a clause saying that words with capital letters should not be playable. 

With the release of the 13th edition of SAOL, there were a couple of bigger changes as to which words were included in the word list. Irregular verb forms were, for example, now separate entries. A number of acronyms had also found their way into the word list. These changes brought up for discussion which words should actually be playable. After a long and lively debate, a decision was taken to change the definition. Words containing capital letters should from now on be seen as playable words. This is the definition that has been in use since then.

/Roland

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Alex Stone
(@alexstone)
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Hi Roland,

Thanks for that explanation.

As far as I know, Swedish Scrabble is the only language that doesn't allow all the different verb forms, adjective variations and plurals, etc. Is it just the serious, tournament players that tend to stick to these restrictions? I'm wondering if casual players would more typically use the full vocabulary, and if so, is there a word list that they can use to verify words?

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Alexandra Svanteson
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(@asvanteson)
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Medlem
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Hello Alex.

Just as you are suspecting it's mainly the tournament players that apply the restricted word list. The cell phone game Wordfeud's Swedish version supply two choices: strict (which more or less corresponds to our competition list) and a much more commonly played (which contains all word forms with conjugations and such). Among players who play sporadically among friends and family it is not as strict as when we play competition scrabble.

To settle any disputes when playing among friends, I recommend the SAOL app, which can be found here: https://www.svenskaakademien.se/saol-mobil-app

If one were to wonder for example about the word "hundar" (plural for "hund" which means "dog") and searches for it in the app, one gets the response:

One hit: hundar (hund)
This gives you the notion that "hundar" is some sort of conjugation of the original word "hund". You could then tap that word to se all kinds of forms of this word.

Hoping this helps you in your games.

If you are intrerested to play with us in the future you are most welcome. We also sometimes organize tournaments in English (normally as a qualifier for the international tournaments).

Best wishes.

Alexandra.

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