Most importantly, this book offers what cannot be obtained for the North American version of Scrabble: Mainly a complete and accurate list of all words allowable in Scrabble play, accessible to anyone at any level of play.
In contrast, the North American lists, compiled and published by NASPA (North American Scrabble Players Association) and Merriam-Webster are incomplete, inaccurate, and not accessible to everyone. The "Official Tournament and Club Word List 2014 Edition" (OWL) has over 80 errors, including over 40 omissions and over 40 erroneous entries, and is available only to members of NASPA. The "Official Scrabble Players Dictionary, 5th edition" (OSPD) includes words up to length 8 plus inflections, but more importantly, does not include many words even of length 8 and shorter that are in the OWL. For example, of 66 new 3-letter OWL words from the previous edition, 8 are missing in the OSPD. So unlike previous editions, the OWL and OSPD are not closely aligned. And despite the OSPD claiming to be endorsed by NASPA for recreational and school use, the OSPD is NOT the word source used for scholastic tournaments. Rather they use yet another list which is similar to OWL, but with some objectionable words removed. And this official scholastic list is not available in print.
Getting back to "Collins Official Scrabble Words", this is a list which is 100% accurate, and available to anyone. The words are conveniently listed in columns in two main book sections: Words of length 2-9, most frequently used in Scrabble play, and words of length 10-15, which mostly occur infrequently by playing extensions of 8- or 9-letter words. The book construction is very solid with nice paper, and the words are printed in a monospaced font, which is convenient for quickly identifying each word's length. (Contrast with the OWL, which has seemingly recycled paper pages, and using a variable-width font with words of all lengths in a single list, which makes word length determination problematic.)
Scrabble, like other games such as chess, is the best when everyone is playing by the same set of rules. In the case of a word game, like Scrabble, the set of words is effectively the rules of the game. Collins Official Scrabble Words is exactly what it promises on the cover: "The official, comprehensive wordlist for SCRABBLE(TM)". (p.s. WORDLIST* is not a valid word in the book, only on the cover.)
- Hardcover: 1216 pages
- Publisher: Collins - GB; 04 edition (25 May 2015)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0007589166
- ISBN-13: 978-0007589166
- Product Dimensions: 15.9 x 5.4 x 24 cm
- Boxed-product Weight: 1.4 Kg
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- Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 262,124 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)