I Don’t Need Wordle in My Life. Do you?

Captured with absolutely no permission

I have made a decision: Unlike literally millions of followers worldwide I do not need Wordle in my life. To me it seems like another potential addiction  which would take time, energy and attention away from other matters. I am already an addictive eater; I spend more time on social media than is good for me; I exorbitantly love slapstick comedy (The Naked Gun; Get Smart); Some have even suggested this blog is anything but healthy for me or my loyal readers (both of them).

I have inquired with recent Wordle players: How much time to you spend each day working on your solutions? None admit to only fifteen minutes; many suggest a half hour or more; some say they keep the game going for several hours each day, an activity interspersed with lesser attentions such as monitoring relations between Ukraine and Russia, keeping track of unvaccinated tennis stars, with others advising the Bank of Canada on inflationary management strategies.   

Thinking historically, what might have happened if Winston Churchill devoted an hour a day during the Battle of Britain (we have seen his small bunker  beneath the Whitehall pavement – there were no Wordle instructions lying on the table next to his subterranean bed). What if Banting and Best each took extended lunch breaks to test their non-medical acumen? What if Mozart exercised his muse with a five-letter game instead of completing his Requiem? In fact, maybe this is why Schubert’s final Symphony remains unfinished. Did he play Wordle? I hadn’t thought of that.

Wordle has captured the attention of a global game-playing audience. Step aside Solitaire, Space Invaders, Rubik’s Cube and Sudoku; move to the back of the bus Globe and Mail Cryptic Crossword. Somewhere, one person simply produces one five-letter word daily and the game is on. The end of Scrabble and  Bananagrams is nigh. Your neighbour, your priest, your grandchildren, your Zoom host, they all play, without me however. Some choose to share their results; others not; the debate rages (5 letter word).

Now let’s be fair. Some people love Wordle. “Wordlers” (are you a “new world” or “old world” Wordler? Do tell!) look forward to their daily task–with delight some days, but considerable frustration and a sense of defeat on others. Like Hockey in North America and Football (Soccer) in the UK, they love playing “their game.” For instance:

“I’ve been “Wordling” daily since I first heard about it, just as I have been doing the NYT spelling bee and the Globe and Mail cryptic crossword every day for years. What can I say – I love word games! I rarely share my results of the others, largely because they are so challenging I rarely get the whole thing without hints, but also because there is no way to share them easily with others. But with Wordle I was instantly part of a community of fellow word nerds.

If at one time we enjoyed bowling leagues, lodge memberships or knitting clusters, now we have online Wordle to pass the pandemic time away. And speaking of pandemics, when the time finally comes after a few more variants, we will soon have something else to talk about. No more strategic arguments about herd immunity, safe travel or vaccination procedures for our pets. Soon our conversation will switch to “the importance of the first word . . . the ratio of vowels to consonants . . . the statistical chances of success in four vs. six attempts.” There is so much to look forward to.

You may ask, who is Josh Wardle? Well he’s a software engineer based in Brooklyn who is originally from Wales. He is a master innovator who took a living room game on to the internet rising to viral popularity. Why so popular? Well in his own words: “Even though I play it every day, I still feel a sense of accomplishment when I do it: it makes me feel smart, and people like that.”

Now Wardle is Welsh, so I wonder, is a Welsh version coming soon? Are there many five-letter Welsh words I wonder? Remember that the longest place name in the UK and second longest in the world is the small Welsh hamlet of Llanfairpwllgwyngyllgogerychwyrndrobwllllantysiliogogogoch. I suggest Wardle stick with English.

So now I must decide: Will I attempt Wordle myself given my concerns noted above? For research purposes only, I will make a first attempt. Stay tuned (5 letters); watch (5) this space (5).

LONG PAUSE . . .

Well . . . 3/6. So what is the big deal people? “Impressive” Wordle said. No need to be bothered with such trivial pursuits, which tend to monopolize the time and effort of so many, those who bask in the balderdash of whackamole days. Some of us have it . . . and others, well, don’t.

Let the games continue.

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