NOTES ON ‘ALPHABET WORDS’

When one loses interest in something but does not have anything else to do that they could use to pass time with like their phone or laptop to get on the internet and look through social networks or play games, also known as Elephant Stomping.  Another solution to pass time when one cannot hold their attention on something is to play the game Alphabet Words.  Some people could also play Alphabet Words because they like how they spend time playing it over using their phone or laptop to check social networks or watching something on Netflix.  Alphabet Words could make people think that they are doing something more production than doing nothing.

The pain one feels when he or she is sitting in a lecture and cannot check or be on their phone due to a professor’s strict rule of no electronics.  To try to put that feeling at ease, one can play a game on their notebook by themselves or with a group of friends.  One can play Alphabet Words.

1. Alphabet Words is used to relieve the feeling having something important to do, but one does not want to do it, and approaches something new.  The main example for when Alphabet Words is played, is during a college lecture, when the students can’t have electronics out.

2. The act of playing the Alphabet Words game involves a base word and making other words using the letters of the base word.  First, one must find a long word and use it as the base word.  Then all players will try to make smaller words out of it using the letters of the base word in any order.  There is a point system that corresponds with the number of letters of the created word, and the player with the most points wins that round.

3. Points for the game would work as:

3 letters: 1 point

4 letters: 2 points

5 letters: 3 points

6 letters: 4 points

7 letters: 5 points

4. Although, the letters can be used in any order, letters cannot be duplicated unless there are multiples of that specific letter already in the word.  Each letter can only be used once in the new word.  An example of this rule is found in Note #8 to further explain the rule itself.

5. My high school government teacher would always talk about how she and her friends would get lose attention from their professor in some of their college lectures.  They would pass the time by picking out the longest word in the lecture and make smaller words out of the letters of the larger word.  Towards the end of the lecture, she and all of her friends would count the numbers of points they made (elaborated in Note # 5) and declare a winner for that round.  They competed against each other and tallied up the winds and the person with the most wins for each class by the end of the semester won a prize.

6.  Alphabet Words was created by my government teacher and her friends.  They called the game Alphabet Words because the first word they played it with was alphabet.  She said that they were all sitting in their Economic lecture.  Most of them were not Econ majors, and had to take Introduction to Microeconomics as a General Education class.  They were all losing interest in the lecture itself, since the professor’s material about supply and demand is self-explanatory after one understands the general concept.  The professor also just went through numerous examples to both concepts separately and together.  My government teacher and her friends had already learned the information by reading the text book and from her high school economic class.  They were losing focus on the lecture, and did not know what to do.  They always went to lecture because they could get extra credit, and there was a strict no electronic rule for the lecture, so they could not use their phone or laptop.  She and her friends always ended up day dreaming, and would sometimes miss notes.  They started playing Alphabet Words to spend time.  The first words was ALPHABET, but then one of her friends realized that if they used a base word that was related to the lecture they would also be able to kind of pay attention to the lecture.  They then made another rule that the person who comes up with the longest base word from the first ten to fifteen minutes of the lecture would get another point.  The next word they used was MICROECONOMICS and they did realize that as they stared at the word MICROECONOMICS, it allowed them to remotely focus their attention on the professor because as they heard their professor use the word MICROECONOMICS, they attention would be brought back to the lecture.  Since they were not allowed to use their phone, they passed notes to tell each other what the base word is and at the end when they declared a winner for the round.  She and her fiends ended up playing Alphabet Words in other classes too, but they always related the base word to the lecture.  They would listen to the lecture until they found a long word.  Alphabet words spread throughout their college campus instantly as it did in my high school.

7. An example round of Alphabet Words using the base word Alphabet would be:

ALPHABET

PLATE (3 points)

BETA (2 points)

PETAL (3 points)

BELT (2 points)

ALPHA (3 points)

HAT (1 point)

LAP (1 point)

Total points: 15 points

8. Using the same example as above, the word BELLA would not work because there is only 1 L in ALPHABET.  This relates to Note #2 about how one cannot duplicate a letter from the original word.  However, the word ALPHA does work because there are 2 As in the word ALPHABET.

9. My high school government teacher told all of her students, who were mainly seniors.  And most people know about high school seniors losing interest in their school work as the year progresses, also known as senioritis.  The seniors started to play Alphabet Words in all of their classes to pass time since phones were banned during the school day.  They played it in classes with underclassmen, too.  The underclassmen started playing it in their classes too.  Soon enough all of students played the game during all of their classes.

10. A personal example of playing Alphabet Words would be during my Government class.  We were watching a documentary of lobbyists in Washington DC.  Our attention was not focused on the documentary, so we decided to try out ALPHABET WORDS.   We used the word REPUBLICAN.  The game ended up taking up enough time until the end of the documentary.  However, every time we heard the word republican, the documentary caught out attention.

11. This ended up being a better way to focus one’s attention on something remotely related to the information of the lecture other than the lecture itself.  It is also better distraction than playing a game on one’s phone, because one could be totally distracted and not pay any attention on the lecture.

12. Another example other than a lecture, could be on a road trip.  Alphabet Words could be played using road signs on the highway of cities and states.  The vehicle passengers could play the game the same way using the word from the sign as the base word, and create other words out of the letter.  Alphabet Words would help pass time for anyone regardless of their age.  Road games like going through the alphabet from A to Z and trying to find signs that start with those letters could get less interesting as time goes on.  Therefore Alphabet Words provides a new approach to spending time when one does not know what to do.

13. They would not be like playing the game Boggle, because, the players are intentionally playing the game.  They are not playing because they have nothing else to do or because they lost interest in something important.  Also the situation is different as various letters are given in boggle, instead of a given word in Alphabet words.  In Boggle, 16 letters are given in a four by four square layout.  The letters of the created word must touch the next letter either horizontally, vertically, or diagonally in any direction.  Boggle also has a time limit of two minutes, while Alphabet Words does not have to have a time limit.  An example of Boggle, to show that it is not Alphabet Words would be:

The given letters would be presented as:

E R F E
B R U M
L I O A
U S O C

Possible words:

EUROS

FUME

SOIL

ROAM

OILS

*Notice how the letter touch each other: EUROS will be bolded in the example to show this*

14. Alphabet Words can be played for fun too.  However, since there are other items that could capture one’s attention like technology or cooking, one is less likely to play Alphabet Words.  It can be viewed more as a last resort, when there is nothing else to do other than sit there and stare at something and daydream.

15. Alphabet Words is a temporary solution to relieving the time spent not doing anything; it does not always work to spend time.  One can lose their attention from Alphabet Words themselves if one cannot think of anymore words to create from the base word.  After giving up on finding more words, one has a few directions to go in.  The first would be to continue thinking about the base word and looking at the letters and try to come up with more words.  The second would be to focus ones attention back to the work he or she was doing before playing Alphabet Words.  The third would be to do something new and production with one’s time.  The fourth would be to continue to do nothing and daydream or something.

16. Although previous notes have claimed that Alphabet Words can help a student remotely pay attention to a lecture, that’s not always the case.  Sometimes people can become completely consumed by competition and the ability to win Alphabet Words.  Therefore they would not pay attention to the lecture at all, and that could be equivalent to daydreaming.  The solution of Alphabet Words would relieve the feeling of not being able to pay attention, and one would be able to focus on something rather than nothing.  However, the student would probably be better off trying to pay attention to the lecture if the student’s goal of playing Alphabet Words is to remotely listen to the lecture as he or she is focusing their attention on something other than the lecture.

17. Playing Alphabet Words competitively could be a limit case.  As one is fully distracted from the main focus, so he or she can not remotely pay attention to the focus.

18. Another limit case would be to use a phrase rather than a word.  A phrase allows more letters so the game is a little easier.  A phrase we used in our government class was “WE THE PEOPLE OF THE UNITED STATES…”  Alphabet Words was defiantly easier because there are more letters to use.

19. Alphabet Words can be played individually as the player could just play until he or she feels like all of the words are found.  Then he or she can move on to play with another word, or go back to what he or she was doing beforehand.

20. This solution is probably not widely used, as other objects can grasp someone’s attention for longer and one probably enjoys how other objects do not require one to use that brain.  An example would be that someone would rather watch TV than Alphabet Words because in Alphabet Words, one must think of words, and once you find all the words you think you can find, then it comes to should I think of more words, or move on.

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