It's still about being clever with English words, which just means a lot to me as I never meet a native speaker here in my small city.* I love silly words like ZA and QI and ULU, or show-off ones like ZYGOMATIC (really, I played it once!) and ABACII.
Of course my opponents have stupendous vocabularies. And even more amazing is that I get to play--and chat with--women and men of all ages from all over the world. There are always hundreds, even thousands, of people on line, as well as a few robots, if you prefer a machine to someone from Canada, England, Australia, India, the Philippines, South Africa, Jamaica, Scotland, Haiti, Chile, Venezuela, or Peru, just to name a few of the countries of my recent opponents.
Not surprisingly, since I choose to play the US dictionary instead of the UK dictionary, most of my opponents are from the good old USA. And I guess they assume their opponents are there as well, because instead of saying "hello from England," or "I'm in Hong Kong," they say, "Howdy from Atlanta" or "Hi from MI." And some get confused when I say I am in Argentina. One asked me to say hello to the folks in Lima (Peru) or Rio (Brazil). A woman from Pennsylvania insisted that folks here speak Portuguese, not Spanish. One got miffed when I said I'm in Buenos Aires, Argentina. "PUH-leeze, we Americans know where that is," she retorted. I always add quickly that I am an expat so if they lose they don't feel as bad as I did losing to a Chilean (who goes by the name Atacama, for whom English is a second language).
Unless you've lived where you never hear your native language spoken, all this might seem rather trivial. But I love my native language. . . be it spoken, written, or sung! For me, it has been one of the principal ways of connecting with others as well as making a living. Some people like to go running or biking, others pick up a guitar. . . well, I log in to lexulous.com as Iguazu and get into flow putting little tiles on a multi-color board. In fact, I think I'll do that right now!
See you in the Lounge or Coffee House!
*People insist that there are others US folks here, but no one can tell me where to find them. I even have set up two Facebook groups, one for expats here in San Nicolas, the other for English-speaking women in Argentina, just in case someone wants to be found by me. To be honest, I did meet one native speaker four years, a US pastor who was running an orphanage, but he was very uninterested in talking to me. Then again, I bet he never plays Scrabble!