The wonderful world of word games

There’s no doubt about it—word games are popular. And while I’ve yet to download any to my mobile phone, I’ve always been a fan of the non-technological variety.

My parents introduced me and my brother to Hangman when we were quite young. It was a great game to know as kids because it’s so portable. All you need is a pen, paper and at least one other player. It certainly kept the boredom out of the backseat during long car rides.

Dictionary was also popular in our household. This game involves players coming up with fictional definitions for real words. All you need for this game is a few people, paper, pens and a dictionary. We also owned store-bought games, such as Boggle and Scrabble.

Word games have also made popular television shows. I have vivid memories of sipping cherry Coke while watching Wheel of Fortune at my grandparents’ house. I doubt I solved many puzzles when I first started watching, but I understood the concept. I wish I could remember if we witnessed this episode together:

A few years ago, I travelled solo to Paris. I stayed in a non-touristy area where few people spoke English. My French was limited and rusty. I had a phrase book with me, but I wanted to do better than that. So I regularly tuned in to La Roue de la Fortune, France’s version of Wheel of Fortune, in an attempt to improve my French. 

To be honest, I’m not sure it made a huge difference. After all, I was there for only two weeks. But it helped a little bit (and I quite enjoyed watching the cute dog).

There are lots of good reasons to play word games. Maybe you want to build your vocabulary or need help with memorization. Or maybe you just find them fun.

Do you have any favourite word games?


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