The Flatte Project: Is that the best you’ve got?

Flatte” is not the only word I’ve ever invented.

I’ve made up plenty of Scrabble terms for instance. I almost always have a Scrabble game or three on the go via an insane British website, The Pixie Pit. I also play on Facebook, on my phone, or on one of the half dozen boards in my home.

I and a few friends have developed a whole glossary of specialized Scrabble terminology, all of which are highly meritorious (at least to me and those few friends).

Scrabble: for making - and making up - words

For instance, in standard Scrabble parlance, using all seven tiles to make a play is referred to as a “bingo.” But sometimes, you have a seven-letter word in your rack that you just can’t play. I coined the term “bigno” for that situation. As in, “Sigh, I had multiple bignos last turn. Curse you, Scrabble Pixie!” (Real quote. The Pixie Pit does strange things to a person.)

There are at least five people in the world who have already incorporated “bigno” into their Scrabble argot. I feel confident that with a Flatte-like push, I could probably get that up to, say, eight. But I think that’s as far as it goes.

I’ve also given names to some classic Scrabble plays. These are all named after Scrabbling cohorts:

  • The Andrea: Making a play that is not a bingo, but that still scores more than 50 points.
  • The Gerry: Trading in letters on your first turn of the game. (Named for my uncle, Gerald Bergstein, who erroneously contends  that it is mathematically less disadvantageous to trade in letters on the first turn than later in the game.)
  • The Maeve: Having your plays successfully challenged off the board two or more times in a row. (Alternate definition: Some say a Maeve is playing an improbable, outlandish letter combination that turns out to be a real word. Right. And in that same parallel universe, my unicorn farm is turning record profits again this year. Give it up, Maeve.) (We have a lot of trash talk when we play.)
  • The Dave: Failing to challenge an obviously spurious word because it was played by your spouse whom you love/trust/fear too much. (Interesting logistical sidenote: If there were fewer Daves, there would be more Maeves.)
  • The Patchen: Ending the game by going out with a bingo. (It’s a Grand-slam Patchen if all other players still have full racks of letters.)

All this to say, I’ve coined plenty of terms. But not all of them have “flatte’s” universal appeal. That’s why this is the Flatte Project and not The Bigno Project.

I can’t help but notice, though, that “flattes” has seven letters. That means that when this project succeeds and “flatte” is incorporated into, say, OSPD7 I could conceivably play it as a Patchen. Doesn’t it just give you goosebumps to think about it?