How 'Words With Friends' Became a Game About the Language of Everyday Life


I tap my screen and the letters scramble apart then reform, producing a zippy, fizzy popping noise, like bubbles cresting a fish tank. O-A-S-S-B-U-G stares back at me. I tap again, this time yielding G-U-A-S-S-B-O. Long, silent seconds pass and suddenly I see words: BOGUS, GAUSS, BUGS, BAUS, SUBA, ASSBUG.

This is a companion discussion topic for the original entry at


Having read the article, I’m a little less baffled at some of the words WWF accepts as valid or rejects. I still don’t understand, though, why onomatopoeia is not usually accepted. The only example I can recall off the top of my head is “oof,” but I know I’ve tried others. When I do, I get the “not a word” message.


It was a great article, though not reflective of how I play with my mother (we focus on the possible scores presented by stupid non-words rather than playing emotional “real” words).

One thing though - Zynga here professes to take into account what players want and need and seeks their input. This doesn’t gel with their increased focus recently on pushing game-breaking features like SWAP+ (allows you to swap tiles without missing a turn… barf) or the newly released Words with Friends 2, which pushes these features even more and has unskippable ads with no option to pay to turn them off. Check out the dismal reviews on the app store for WWF2