Boggle and Slang Terms: How to decide which words are valid for Boggle play
How do you decide which words are acceptable when playing Boggle? Exactly where should you draw the line? Traditionally the rule of thumb has been that if the word is in the dictionary it's acceptable for Boggle (and vice versa). This strategy often falls short, however, since the linguistic landscape is constantly changing, especially nowadays in a world of technological innovation and evolution. How could the original creators of Boggle possibly have foreseen the problem of words like "html" or "lol?"
So, if you decide to play Boggle outside of the dictionary model, where do you draw the line? That all depends on the group of Boggle players involved. The best way to play Boggle without a dictionary is to vote on words you're not sure of. Keep in mind, however, that if one Boggle player adheres to a strict viewing of acceptable Boggle words, then the other players will probably hold him/her to the same standards. It is therefore a good idea to come up with a general consensus of what level of strictness you'd like for your Boggle game.
The three basic levels of strictness in terms of slang terms, acronyms, and so forth in Boggle are:
Traditional Boggle Play: In this mode of Boggle play the definition of acceptable Boggle words is very narrow. If in doubt the word is considered unacceptable for Boggle. For traditional Boggle play you may not use acronyms (like "sos"), abbreviations (like "rep" for "reputation" or "max" for "maximum"), slang terms (like "gotcha"), or anything too far out of common English language usage (like Shakespearean words of the "thou" nature). You would also not accept foreign words like "soiree." I prefer the traditional Boggle mode of play because there's less room for interpretation.
Average Acceptability Boggle Play: This mode of Boggle play accepts more types of words than traditional play, but is careful not to take it too far. Acronyms are generally considered unacceptable as Boggle words (like "html" or "lol"), but slang terms (like "blog") are acceptable. Abbreviations can not be used, but Shakespeare is considered okay for Boggle within reason (but don't forget that 'tis requires an apostrophe which you will never find in Boggle!).
Anything Goes Boggle Play: To play Boggle using the anything goes philosophy pretty much everything already mentioned are considered valid Boggle words. Of course, in order to keep the spirit of Boggle intact and the game fun, you can't invent words and you probably want to draw a line somewhere!
Once your Boggle group comes to an agreement as to which style of Boggle play is right for you, there will be less disagreements and more time to play! Shake the dice, turn the timer, and get back to the business of Boggle!