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Thread: A question for Scrabble players....

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    Default A question for Scrabble players....



    There must be some "Scrabblers" out there so here's a curiosity I discovered last night:

    The word "Iridium" magically appeared on my tile rack and there was a place to play it using all 7 letters for a bingo bonus. Yippee!

    I thought I was on to a winner here because I knew that, for instance, "zinc" was acceptable, being un-capitalized (so not a proper noun) as is copper or mercury, the element not the planet.

    To my consternation I checked in the COED to be certain and found that Iridium IS capitalized as is Indium among others!

    I could have pulled the wool over my opponents eyes but my innate honesty (and conscience) forced me not to.
    I also have to live with her...

    What is going on here? Why are some elements capitalized and some not?

    Any ideas? I await with bated or is it baited breath, or breathe, to be enlightened....
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    Default Re: A question for Scrabble players....

    Is iridium always capitalized? I see several chemistry articles on the internet that write it with a lower case i -- including that impeccable source of research Wikipedia. Even my old '80's era Webster's print dictionary shows it lower case. Is it possible your COED dictionary is incorrect about the initial capital on iridium?
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    Default Re: A question for Scrabble players....

    The UIPAC (who ought to know!) say not.
    From https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chemic...#Element_names ...
    According to IUPAC, chemical elements are not proper nouns in English; consequently, the full name of an element is not routinely capitalized in English, even if derived from a proper noun, as in californium and einsteinium. Isotope names of chemical elements are also uncapitalized if written out, e.g., carbon-12 or uranium-235. Chemical element symbols (such as Cf for californium and Es for einsteinium), are always capitalized (see below).
    The full OED online doesn't have the capitals
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    Default Re: A question for Scrabble players....

    And if you need data to back up your case of elements not being capitalized (in books) ...

    https://books.google.com/ngrams/grap...ium%29%3B%2Cc0

    Based on ...

    https://chemistry.stackexchange.com/...-element-names

    AR

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    Default Re: A question for Scrabble players....

    Hummm.. I guess I should tear up my COED. It's a little worrying that I have relied on this "impeccable" authoritative source for so long.
    Just as well we don't play league games or we would have been thrown out.
    Thank you all for the correction.
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    Default Re: A question for Scrabble players....

    Iridium is a good word according to the Official Scrabble Player's Dictionary.
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    Default Re: A question for Scrabble players....

    A last observation here..It looks like my next optical purchase will need to be a MICROSCOPE.
    The print in my COED is so small that I had difficulty in distinguishing a lower case "i" with the dot on top from an upper case "I".
    Must visit an ophthalmologist. Might improve my visual observing....

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    Default Re: A question for Scrabble players....

    Thanks Skybird, iridium is a good word and I missed my bingo on it (unless it is at the beginning of a sentence)?
    How the heck do non-English speakers get along learning it? I've seen enough of the bough in the tree even though I thought I knew English well. It's tough indeed.....

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    Default Re: A question for Scrabble players....

    FWIW,
    I notice that you say you looked up the word in the OED before playing it.
    Some players of Scrabble do not permit looking up a word before it is played, even though they allow use of the dictionary when contesting a word.
    This forces everyone to know their spelling well, and it speeds up the gameplay when people aren't mildly flipping pages in the dictionary instead of thinking.
    -Steven F.

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    Default Re: A question for Scrabble players....

    Thanks Steve.
    Since it is only my wife and I playing we are pretty liberal. We allow dictionary consultation at all times.This way we stay married!
    I let my wife go fishing for words for as long as she likes.
    Yes it can slow the game but it gives opportunity to refill glasses and cook dinner. Also educates us and avoids bad play as my "i" "I" confusion above.
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