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The rules of Scattergories state:

Players score zero points for an answer that duplicates another answer in that round.

However, how do you define "duplicates another answer"? Should only the exact same words be considered "duplicate"? Or is there some room for interpretation? For example, if the category is "Professional Sports Teams", are "Jaguars" and "Jacksonville Jaguars" considered duplicate answers, since "Jaguars" is the operative word in both cases? Or do they both count, since they are not exactly the same words?

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Very similar answers that refer to the same thing should be counted as the same answer. How close those need to be to count as "the same" is up to the group, however. In this case, it's clear that both answers refer to the same sports team, so they should not be scored separately.

It's worth noting that if you don't do this and count all typographically distinct answers as unique, the game could quickly devolve into finding variations of a single term that fits the category - a single player could score multiple points for Jaguars, Jacksonville Jaguars, Jaguars of Jacksonville, Jaguars football, and Jaguars NFL team, which is just silly.

  • Thanks for the response. I think this one gets the green check because it offers a possible rubric for how to resolve this dilemma (e.g. typographically distinct vs. conceptually distinct, with the example I posted being a case of the former but not the latter). Seems like a useful house rule. – Donut Nov 19 '18 at 20:47
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The rules are not exactly clear on the definition of duplicate, so it is truly up to the players as a group to decide.

In my experience, if they refer to the same thing, they are considered duplicates, in your example as the "Jacksonville Jaguars" and "Jaguars" are the same team, they should be considered duplicate answers. This encourages thinking out of the box and looking for less common answers, that's the fun of the game after all.

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    Thanks for the response! Agree that rule interpretations that encourage fun are the right way to go. – Donut Nov 19 '18 at 20:49

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