(Pixabay)

(Pixabay)

Writer’s Block: Taking a breather with Wordle

The Free Press columnist Bill Phillips muses over the popularity of Wordle

By Bill Phillips

For The Free Press

Aisle.

That’s a good word to start with. Why aisle? I’ll tell you.

It has three different vowels and two well-used consonants. When you are trying to guess a five-letter word from scratch, it’s a good word to start with. So is ‘audio,’ for the same reasons.

For those who are scratching their heads wondering if I’ve gone off the deep end, I’m just giving some solid advice for the Wordlians, (or is that Wordleites?), in the world.

If that still leaves you scratching your head, Wordle is the last craze to hit the crazy social media circles. If you’ve never played, it involves trying to guess a five-letter word in six attempts … with no clues. You get six attempts to guess the word and, as a helper, Wordle will tell you if you have guessed a correct letter, but in the wrong spot, and a correct letter in the right spot.

It’s a simple, yet very challenging, game. And, in the end, you get to post your results on social media to either brag to your friends how well you did or wallow in despair and hope your friends take pity on you.

I must admit I have Wordled and (attention – brag coming) solved one with two guesses. I’ve also solved a few in three guesses and the rest … send in the pity party.

One of the amazing things about Wordle is, as far as I can tell, no one spoils it for everyone else. Everyone gets the same word so once you solve the puzzle, there is nothing stopping you from posting the answer on social media. But no one seems to be willing to spoil it for others. Perhaps it’s our innate politeness or perhaps it’s our innate fear of unleashing the wrath of social media. Think truckers will be tough on you? Upset the Wordlers and there’ll be hell … nope, that’s a four-letter word … Hades to pay.

So why has Wordle become so popular. It’s likely for a couple of reasons. Firstly, like most popular games, it’s simple yet challenging. It takes some luck, but it also takes some skill. And, it doesn’t take too long.

Secondly, with all the angry screamers on social media these days, it’s something that … well, isn’t that. We can pause, for a second or two, and congratulate someone for doing well, or tease them for not. Or just give them a like.

Then we can get back to the screaming which, of course, is not a five-letter word so maybe we can just get back to being happy. Peace.

-Bill Phillips is a 30-year veteran of journalism. He grew up in Fernie and began his career at The Free Press in the 1980s.



newsroom@clearwatertimes.com

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