Social Question

elbanditoroso's avatar

Would you not play a word in Scrabble to spare someone's feelings?

Asked by elbanditoroso (30461points) 1 month ago

This morning – had a 7-letter word on a triple word block. It would have given me something like 83 points.

The word was S-U-I-C-I-D-E—the D was a blank.

Here’s the issue – there was recently a suicide in this person’s extended family, and she still is affected by that event – shocked, a little depressed, and definitely not over it.

Knowing that history, would you have played the word? Knowing that it could have triggered unpleasant memories?

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26 Answers

Dutchess_III's avatar

I would not have played it. Good call.

Demosthenes's avatar

Yeah I probably wouldn’t have played it either. A few weeks ago a friend of mine told me that his dad had cancer and not more than ten minutes later I described a particularly troublesome mutual acquaintance of ours as a “cancer that needs to be cut out”. He didn’t say anything but I felt awkward about that for days afterward…

rebbel's avatar

Would not have played it.
I have been avoiding the word (and the first years even the subject) for 3 to 4 years, when I was in the company of my girlfriend (when we were in public places and/or in the company of others), after her brother had taken his own life.
(We did talk about it, much, in the privacy of our home.)

I use the same care when it’s about rape.

Mimishu1995's avatar

Even if there was no suicide in the room, I wouldn’t play it. I never use negative words when playing Scrabble.

Points in a Scrabble game worths nothing in the long run.

JLoon's avatar

In that particular case, probably not.

Dutchess_III's avatar

I challenge you to Words With Friends @Mimi!

kritiper's avatar

I would play the word knowing that all players understood that I did not choose beforehand the letters of the word. Mature players, no matter the situation, would know that. Tough call, but it is a game after all.

cookieman's avatar

Agreed. I would have skipped it. It’s just a game after all.

kneesox's avatar

In terms of rationality, I think @kritiper is right, but I wouldn’t have played it either. Not because of unpleasant memories but just because it might seem to trivialize a horrific event by turning it into a move in a game.

What’s the worst that can happen? If I don’t play it, I miss some points in a game. If I do, possible distress for a friend. Easy choice.

filmfann's avatar

I wouldn’t have played it. I don’t have that measure of control over my mouth. Born without a filter.

stanleybmanly's avatar

Offhand I can’t think of anyone I know that I would judge that delicate. Of course I would spare someone’s feelings If I believed them so vulnerable.

flutherother's avatar

I would only play it if the “C” was on a triple word score.

Hawaii_Jake's avatar

I also would not have played it.

kneesox's avatar

@stanleybmanly, I see your point. But I also wonder how their degree of vulnerability would compare before and after a family member’s suicide. In general I think most of us try not to expose our vulnerabilities, but that one can cut pretty raw.

Mimishu1995's avatar

@Dutchess_III challenge accepted!

Nomore_lockout's avatar

No…only a game anyway..Why traumatize a person over a game?

TJFKAJ's avatar

How many points would you get for S-U-I-C-I-D-E.

Mimishu1995's avatar

@kritiper I would like to respectfully disagree with you. I’m playing a game, for fun. I don’t see any point in putting heavy, negative words on the table. Even when my friends were all happy people with no apparent struggle, I still wouldn’t choose any negative words, let alone such words that can’t be interpreted in any humorous way like suicide.

This is just my personal value. I myself can handle negative words without problem. I just don’t want to shove them in people’s face. And there is time and place for everything. I put a lot of heavy stuff in my writing, but not in a fun situation like Scrabble.

And btw that comes from someone who is currently writing a story that features suicide.

Strauss's avatar

I would definitely not play it. Not for the few points in a game that was probably helping a friend get their mind off the subject

@TJFKAJ S=1, U=1, I=1, C=3,
I =1, D(blank)=0, E=1.
(1+1+1+3+1+0+1) × 3
=8×3 =24

That reflects normal letter values with the blank tile representing “D” with one of the letters on a “Triple Word Play”.

It doesn’t reflect any other double word plays, or double or triple letter plays.

dabbler's avatar

We play scrabble often. During COVID lockdowns last year it was at least 6 games a week if not daily. These days maybe four days a week. We’ve played plenty of ‘offensive’ words.
Part of me agrees with @kritiper that people get the tiles they get and should play the words they can.
But I’d have to say if I know my opponent would have a bad time with a word due to personal history – and it’s a normal friendly game – I’d probably come up with something else to do with the tiles.
If my opponent is a ruthless competitor then… a trigger word is just the thing to mess ‘em up and I’d play it for sure.

kritiper's avatar

@Mimishu1995 To each his/her own, I suppose…
Your call, purely.
The word is already out there in the general atmosphere anyway, so…...........

stanleybmanly's avatar

@kneesox and considering the blank tile, there must be other words yielding comparable scoring opportunities: cuisine for instance. It might be fun to figure some out.

Dutchess_III's avatar

But you declined the game @Mimishu1995!

stanleybmanly's avatar

I too believe that unless you are playing the game to take your opponent’s mind off the tragedy, you should be expected to play the tiles you’ve been dealt. A requirement for happy or uplifting words is (I believe) irrelevant to scrabble strategy.

Mimishu1995's avatar


I just woke up @Dutchess_III

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