Did you spell Ω女ÆЯש correctly? That's a Triple Word Score!

by Michael S. Kaplan, published on 2008/02/16 10:16 -05:00, original URI: http://blogs.msdn.com/b/michkap/archive/2008/02/16/7735630.aspx

One of the interesting things about being involved with internationalization is that anytime something vaguely interesting comes up with a hint of internationalization comes up, everyone will forward it to you!

In this case I had nine different people forwarding it to me, each I assume thinking they were giving me a good idea for a blog -- reader Tamara was the first one! :-)

Ultimately Mark E. Shoulson forwarded it to the Unicode List -- and with my pre-existing account at http://www.politicalcartoons.com/ raring to get used, it was easy to pick up a copy for the rest of you to enjoy....

Mark is eagerly awaiting the full Unicode version of scrabble....

A computerized version might be easiest if we can get the fonts together, makes me wonder if there are any font foundries want the gig to build that font, the one that will appropriately scale all of the letters so they look okay next to each other -- something kind of fixred width. Anyone?

It also leads to an interesting variation from the usual requirement that people agree on the acceptable dictionary is the agreement that people agree on the version of Unicode? :-)

Ken Whistler identified that last tile at the end as 𝌼 (U+1d33c, aka TETRAGRAM FOR DIMINISHMENT) and with a score of 𝑖 (U+1d456, aka MATHEMATICAL ITALIC SMALL I), it is clear that the score for its usage is indeed the square root of -1, an imaginary number.

So don't pity the one with the tiles; pity the poor soul who has to decide how to score this game!

His move is obvious to me personlly -- I immediately would put the Æ next to the G near the top of the board to spell GÆ or GAE, a virtually extinct (there is like one fluent speaker trying to teach others at this point) language of Peru also known as Andoa. That will be 21 points and your turn....

I did find a few other potential moves myself but I like GAE best given the linguistic aspects.

You can try yourself -- here is the cartoon. think you might recognize the other letters there? Anyone else have a move they want to suggest?  :-)


This post brought to you by ש (U+05e9, aka HEBREW LETTER SHIN)

Bruce Rusk on 16 Feb 2008 4:56 PM:

GÆ would be a proper name. No dice.

Gwyn on 16 Feb 2008 5:04 PM:

I dunno about your choice of turn actually Michael, I would try a little harder to use the tile that is second from the right. With a score of what looks like infinity, you really need to make sure you get it out of your hand in case the game ends. After all, you wouldn't want to have to subtract that off.

Michael S. Kaplan on 16 Feb 2008 8:14 PM:

Hey Bruce -- FELICITY is a proper name too; it is also a word. And GAE is a language name, like I mentioned. :-)

Puzzlet Chung on 16 Feb 2008 11:42 PM:

The last tile is obviously Mayan numeral for 18. (see http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Maya_numerals )

The sixth one is one of Thai alphabets, probably ล.

Michael S. Kaplan on 17 Feb 2008 2:47 AM:

Well, Ken's suggestion carries more weight since his is encoded in Unicode now, but I agree with you on second last character being ล (U+0e25, aka THAI CHARACTER LO LING).

Centaur on 17 Feb 2008 12:47 PM:

The one on the left is either U+03A9 Greek Capital Letter Omega or U+2126 Ohm Sign. It is scored with U+2162 Roman Numeral Three. No, I do not know why a Greek letter would have a Roman score. Nor any greek words involving omega and what’s on the board.

Next is U+5973 CJK Unified Ideograph for “woman; female”. It is marked with a score of U+4E8C CJK Unified Ideograph for “two” or U+30CB Katakana Letter Ni. It is a word by itself, although (in Japan) it is considered slightly vulgar. As far as I know, it does not form a word with anything on the board.

Third is U+00C6 Latin Capital Letter Ae.

Fourth is U+042F Cyrillic Capital Letter Ya. Although it is overpriced — in Russian version of Scrabble, Ya is given the weight 5. If we allow omographs (similar Cyrillic and Latin letters acting as one), it forms the words ЯК ['jak] (yak) and ЯМА ['ja-ma] (pit, hole in the ground). By Russian Scrabble rules, ЯК would give 6 points and ЯМА 8 points (А:1, К:1, М:2, Я:5). Я [ja] is also a word by itself, meaning “I”.

Fifth one looks much like U+05E9 Hebrew Letter Shin, and the score resembles U+05DC Hebrew Letter Lamed. No idea what number that would mean.

Philip Newton on 17 Feb 2008 2:48 PM:

According to http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hebrew_numerals, Lamed represents "30" as a number - quite a high score!

pne on 17 Feb 2008 2:49 PM:

According to http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hebrew_numerals, lamed represents 30 - quite a high score!

Paul on 17 Feb 2008 3:16 PM:

The Я ("ya") is the most promising, but it's hard to say without knowing which edition of Scrabble they're playing.

I'm pretty sure that 'ЯR' is allowed in "Scrabble: Pirate Edition" while "OЯ" is allowed in "Scrabble: Fargo Director's Cut Special Edition"

Andrew West on 20 Feb 2008 8:54 AM:

The big prize should go to the font that can display all seven characters -- none on my computer can (Arial Unicode MS and Code2000 come closest, but neither font covers the SMP; DejaVu Sans covers the Tai Xuan Jing symbols as well as Latin, Greek and Cyrillic, but it does not yet do CJK or Thai).

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