Five Word Games to Play on National Grammar DayMarch 4, 2019
On March 4th word aficionados everywhere celebrate National Grammar Day. We all march forth (ha!) and recite our favorite grammar jokes like “The past, present, and future walk into a bar. It was tense” or “Knock knock. Who’s there? To. To Who? Actually, it’s To Whom.”
Bad puns aside, there are plenty of word-related games you can play on National Grammar Day. While these won’t require you to identify subordinate clauses or prepositional phrases, your vocabulary and wits will be put to the test in these five fun games.
There’s no better place to start than an all-time classic. Designed by Albert Mosher Butts in 1938, Scrabble has been a staple of game nights for decades. The original game was called Criss-Crosswords and sold modestly until 1952, when the president of Macy’s played the game during vacation. He loved the game and placed a large order for the store and within a year Scrabble was a best-seller.
This quick word game offers three unique rules. First, you can use any letters you want, even those not on the table at the time; of course, you’ll want to use the ones that are worth the most points. Second, letters change values every round, so you can’t focus on trying to score with certain letters. That R and S this round won’t be worth as much in the next round and they may be off the board entirely. Third, being the fastest isn’t necessarily going to win the game; in fact, the timer doesn’t come into play until the first person writes down a word. Then, they turn over the timer and everyone else has a minute to come up with a word, with bonuses dependent upon the first player.
In this family-friendly social deduction game, everyone knows the secret word except for The Chameleon. Using one-word clues, players attempt to identify The Chameleon as they try to blend in and win the game. It’s a tricky proposition, trying to sneak around right underneath the other players’ noses, but the taste of victory is extra-sweet when you get the other players to turn against each other.
Paperback takes the spelling mechanism of Scrabble and mashes it up with the deck-building mechanism of Dominion: play five letter cards, spell words for money, and use that money to buy better cards. Bonuses like extra cards, more money, and double scoring allow you to spell longer or more valuable words as you try to acquire the victory point cards that will propel you to the win.
Lexicology meets fantasy in Spell Smashers, a game of orcs, goblins, and dictionaries. Instead of casting spells to defeats monsters, though, players spell words to take down their foes. Silly? Of course! But word nerds will love using their vocabulary skills to fight their enemies and build up their treasure troves. Each round you’ll use letter cards as weapons, hoping to knock down a monster’s health to zero. If you do, you’ll collect them as a trophy and use their points when you visit the town. Spend your hard-earned points to buy weapons, potions, and one-time abilities to help you spell and fight your way through more baddies.