Today's Opinion: The Use of Words and a new Word Game

Mar 15, 2022 at 09:48 am by WGNS

In today’s commentary, MTSU Professor Larry Burriss takes a look at the Wordle game and how Washington D.C. lives on words…

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Verbatim: "Maybe if you have been sleeping under a rock for a few months you have no idea of the word game Wordle sweeping, well, sweeping the word world.

Basically, the games involves guessing a five-letter word in six tries. As of yet there appears to be no competition in the game; you play against yourself, much like any other solitaire game.

Unfortunately, there appears to be a Wordle subculture that insists on cheating in the stand alone game. But if you cheat, you don’t really win, you just finish.

Anyway, in some less than stellar statistical analysis, researchers have found most of the cheating is done in New England states, and in, and this is the great part, Washington, D.C.

Now it’s interesting the section of the nation that considers itself so sophisticated and better than everyone else is the leading cheater in a simple word game.

But Washington, D.C.? Of course.

Washington is the place that lives on words:  legislation, laws and legalese are the coin of the realm. And think of how much of that written, well, stuff, is based on how they spin a particular word.

So it makes sense the folks in Washington will cheat to make sure the words spin in their direction.

And the cheating that goes on! Every time you turn around someone is getting caught for ignoring the very laws they pass.

The other Washington group that lives on words is reporters. And again, the statistics on cheating seem to fit.

After all, how many news stories have we read the last couple of years that are incomplete, misleading or flat wrong? Apparently, many Capitol Hill reporters are having trouble with words, and find the simple game so difficult, they have to cheat to finish the game.

Notice I didn’t say they have to cheat to win. They simply cheat to finish the game, and like so much else that goes on in the nation’s capital, they hope no one will notice the difference. - I’m Larry Burriss."

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About Dr. Burriss

Larry Burriss, professor of journalism, teaches introductory and media law courses. At the graduate level he teaches quantitative research methods and media law. He holds degrees from The Ohio State University (B.A. in broadcast journalism, M.A. in journalism), the University of Oklahoma (M.A. in human relations), Ohio University (Ph.D. in journalism) and Concord Law School (J.D.). He has worked in print and broadcast news and public relations, and has published extensively in both academic and popular publications. He has won first place in the Tennessee Associated Press Radio Contest nine times. Dr. Burriss' publications and presentations include studies of presidential press conferences, NASA photography, radio news, legal issues related to adolescent use of social networking sites, legal research, and Middle Earth.

Dr. Burriss has served as director of the School of Journalism, dean of the College of Mass Communication and president of the MTSU Faculty Senate. He was appointed by Gov. Phil Bredesen to serve on the Tennessee Board of Regents. He was a lieutenant colonel in the U.S. Air Force and served on active duty in Mali, Somalia, Bosnia, Central America, Europe and the Pentagon.  



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