Overview of Brow-Raisers
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Brow-Raisers provides 212 pages of word power designed to take home players, novice SCRABBLE® club players, and intermediate SCRABBLE® club players to the next level. Experts, who have a NSA ranking of over 1,600 are not likely to learn much new from the book, but they might want to give it as a gift to a spouse or a friend who they would like to be able to play competitive games against.
Brow-Raisers is divided into chapters based on word-length. Chapters Two, Three, and Four cover the 96 two-letter words, 972 three-letter words, and 3,903 four-letter words completely. These chapters are a wonderful resource for home SCRABBLE® players and for beginning club players.
What does “cover completely” mean? Rasch believes that a simple alphabetical listing of words is not very useful for most people. Very few people he knows have the capability or willingness to learn an alphabetical list of 4,000 words. Especially when 2,000 of them are weird and would never be used in a normal conversation. But these 4,000 short words are essential for strong competitive SCRABBLE® play.
To Rasch “cover completely” means presenting the 4,000 short words in logical bite-size chunks that can be prioritized and learned in a systematic way. He makes it relatively easy to learn the four-letter Biggies (eg. HADJ, FALX, QOPH, or AZAN); Vowel-Dumps (eg. CIAO, UNAI, or TOEA); IU-dumps (eg. HUIC, FUCI, or LITU); defensive words starting or ending in C, K, or V (eg. PYIC, VIRL, or KIEF); and words that can be made by hooking one letter to a shorter word (eg. TACE, GLED, TIVY, DIPT, or RUGA). Rasch eschews alphabetical lists and uses an innovative format that minimizes “noise” and facilitates memorization and retention. Unusual words (Brow-Raisers) are bolded to stand out from the words everyone knows.
Intermediate SCRABBLE® players, those with a NSA ranking between 1200 and 1600, are likely to already know all or nearly all of the Twos, Threes, and Fours. In order to move toward expert status, they need to increase their Bingo vocabulary and learn the most important Fives and Sixes. The later chapters of Brow-Raisers will help them do so.
There are 23,111 official Seven-Letter words. Brow-Raisers makes no attempt to cover all of them. An expert could play PLUMULE or WERGILD with confidence, but it would be foolish and inefficient to include these on a beginning list of brow-raising Seven-Letter words, because they simply will not come up nearly as often as Sevens like ETESIAN or ATONIES, which should be on a beginning list. A person wanting to get ahead quickly would definitely want to learn the high-probability ETESIAN and ATONIES before the low-probability PLUMULE or WERGILD. Brow-Raisers concentrates on the Sevens most likely to be of use and leaves the more esoteric ones to other references.
How does Brow-Raisers help one increase their Bingo vocabulary? In three ways: 1) by providing innovatively formatted lists of all the bingos that can be made from the 100 best 6-letter stems plus a blank (eg. 67 words can be made from AEINST?, 35 words can be made from AEILRT?); 2) by putting in one place all of the words that can be made from common prefixes or suffixes such as UN-, -ABLE, or -ERS (are you sure whether UNSLING, EYEABLE, SOWABLE, BIRLERS, or WANTERS are legit or phoney?); and 3) by putting in one place all short verbs and adjectives that can be declined in a normal matter to form Bingos (did you know that MAD, TRIG, and RAVEN were declinable verbs?).
Which Fives and Sixes does Brow-Raisers cover? Anyone short of the expert level would not know all of the 8,636 Five-Letter words, or the 15,234 Six-Letter words. However, they could still play a very strong game provided they knew the most important Fives and Sixes. Brow-Raisers provides a systematic means for learning the Fives and Sixes most likely to pay big dividends. It covers all of the Biggies (eg. JNANA, MAQUI, IXORA, TROOZ, JETTON, QUALIA, or SPELTZ); all of the Vowel-Dumps (eg. OURIE, AGOUTI, or EMEUTE); I and IU-Dumps (eg. BIALI, URARI, NIELLI, or TUMULI); high-probability defenders (eg. CLADE, VODUN, or STROOK); and all of the unusual Fives and Sixes that can ;be made by hooking shorter words (eg. GIRON, MILLE, PELITE, or FLAMEN).
Brow-Raisers presents lists of key SCRABBLE® words in a format that makes memorization and retention relatively painless. Even folks who don’t like to study lists report taking Brow-Raisers along on airplane trips or to a cottage on the beach. They find they can in fact easily assimilate words presented in bite-size chunks. To find out more, click on Examples.