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In Bananagrams, are words that require characters such as hyphens, dashes, and spaces (all of which do not have tiles) allowed simply by omitting the characters with corresponding tile? Or are they not allowed at all?

A couple examples that have come up in play:

  • 'Twas
  • U-boat

Other examples would include

  • top hat
  • man-at-arms
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Bananagrams has a pretty basic set of rules, compared to other games: it seems that the only guidance on this subject is "a legal word is one found in a dictionary (the volume should be agreed upon in advance)".

Obviously all your examples can be found in many reasonably good dictionaries. However, I (and most other diehard Scrabble players I'm sure) would be extremely un-keen to allow them. Essentially - all of those examples are not actually words, but multiple words, albeit abridged or conjoined in some way. Additionally, all of them would look really weird played in a game of Bananagrams or Scrabble with their punctuation marks missing; to the extent where you'd have to wonder if they were the same words at all. "Manatarms", "tophat", "uboat"? They don't look right for a reason. Now maybe if a hyphen tile existed in the game...

I do think, though, that this is exactly the type of game where house rules on acceptability are perfectly reasonable, and indeed a good thing. If you and the people you play with think it's more annoying to have to rule out hyphenated, abbreviated and capitalised real words than it is just to allow them, then I can't see any possible reason not to agree amongst yourselves that they're fine.

  • You don't even need house rules, you just need everyone to agree on a (virtual and/or hypothetical) dictionary that has exactly all the same words as the regular one, with punctuation removed. – goldPseudo Jan 21 '13 at 0:57

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