At some point I'll post more about Facebook. But for now, having fallen into two Scrabulous games almost immediately upon arrival, I think I ought to talk a little about my philosophy of Scrabble.
As I noted in a comment on Vardibidian's blog a while back: "I'm much more interested in coming up with cool and pleasing words and making them interconnect than in knowing [lots of] two-letter words that nobody but Scrabble players have ever used that will allow me to place a word next to another word and score big."
Although I have occasionally said inflammatory things about the official Scrabble dictionary in the past, I should make clear that I intend no offense to people who are dedicated Scrabble players. I have no objection to people memorizing the official dictionary, or using brilliant tricks to make extremely tight grids of letters. But I don't personally enjoy playing that way.
Of course, I'm always pleased when the goal of scoring lots of points happens to coincide with the goal of playing cool words. I just played VIRAGO, and Mary Anne responded with STOAT--the latter of which wouldn't normally have scored well, but it was played in such a way and place that it did. So I have no objection to scoring well with a nifty word.
But when the two goals conflict, as they often do, I'm far more interested in playing nifty words (a concept that's obviously in the eye of the beholder) than in scoring points.
So anyone who wants to play Scrabble with me should be aware that I won't be really competing in the point-scoring category. Sadly, this tends to be a little frustrating on both sides, which is why I don't play Scrabble much. (I prefer Boggle anyway.)
(I'm reminded that one of my favorite word-game experiences was during my high-school trip to the Soviet Union. Jonathan W and I were sitting on the tour bus one day and one of us said a nifty word, and the other responded with another, and for the next while we entertained ourselves by taking turns coming up with pleasing words. We didn't keep score, but the activity certainly had game nature; there was a certain amount of table talk along the lines of "Nice!" or "Ooh, that's a good one" or "Don't think I can top that." We had been reading Rosencrantz and Guildenstern Are Dead, of course, so there was something of the feel of the Questions game even though we had no formal rules and weren't keeping score.)
For more on related topics, see my 1998 column on Scrabble variants, my 2003 journal entry on Fantasy Scrabble, and Vardibidian's 2004 discussion of the Maximum Fun Quotient (a.k.a. MFQ), particularly Chaos's description (in comments) of "Socialist Scrabble"--I'm totally in favor of a game in which one can legitimately say "I could make a really nifty word if someone traded me an R."