Lessons from Wordle

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  1. The first one, not obviously, is that people start looking for lessons from Wordle. Here are several: This woman gives us a personal narrative with several links as she describes an experience different with her routine which she says became a life lesson. This one is a cheery little list of encouraging words and positive advice. Here are some Wordle-inspired investment strategies, which I’m not sure what mean but seem sincere. For Jewish For teachers. Encanto connections. This is perhaps the best one, the most insightful because it addresses a variety of topics: history, popularity, success.
  2. The study of fads (1957) is a real pursuit with popular explanations (2021). To say there are many since the internet descended would be understatement. One warning though: FAD when all caps can mean other things. Fish Aggregating Device is one, obviously scholarly, and Fine Arts Department (congratulations! to these McKinney ISD FAD teachers!) On one hand, fads highlight the creativity of the human mind. The floss dance (so 2019, I know) was amazing to watch as grandkids did it; this tutorial is charming but not my talent. A Rubik’s cube works with an algorithm and here is an “easy way.” The upshot of all this, however, is that while it’s human, it’s odd. Perhaps coincidentally, of course, is the fact that the designer’s name is Wardle; perhaps it was all meant to be.
  3. Memory is another lesson that may have been learned before but forgotten. I know I didn’t collect Beanie Babies. I’ve never taken challenges, at least I’m pretty sure. But in a drawer clean-out I will occasionally come across something that was what we had to do that year: Lace collars, macrame plant hangars, crocheted bun warmers. (If you think the last one has to do with bread, well, you missed that boat long ago.) And those are just a few involving twisted cotton. Lesson: We forget lots of unimportant things that seemed important at the time.
  4. Variations arise almost immediately. Wordle is unique because there isn’t an app. It’s a website-only game. If you download an app with the same name, you won’t get anything near what the real thing is. (That was only true for five minutes. Try PuzzWord, identical as near as I can tell.) There are niche versions that I won’t go into. Google if you’re interested. And, finally, there is a numbers one called Nerdle. Same 6 guesses, 8 slots to put numbers that make a coherent formula. That is the extent of my understanding. It is admittedly difficult. (This site is British and says “maths” instead of the American “math.” Charming. The Wordle website has a UK domain because the designer is Welsh although he lives in New York. It uses American English instead of British so, apparently, they are mad because of words such as “favor” instead of “favour,” which has little red wavy lines under it because my Grammarly doesn’t like it either, but for that matter, it also tags “American English” as “geopolitically sensitive.” What does that even mean?!)
  5. Yes, I’m playing Wordle. One friend complained that she wouldn’t if it is only available at the New York Times. That’s a point of view, of course, and not dissimilar to people boycotting the Olympics because they’re in China. But I’ve written about boycotts before, at least in passing. It is a bit of a sifter. Some people post results daily. Others (me) never do but share privately. Some get the answer regularly in 4 tries. Others (me) have a higher percentage of 5s. It isn’t for everyone, of course. It’s fine if you love crosswords but not jigsaws, Scrabble but not Monopoly. Some people (me and at least one grandkid) should never play the card game Mao, for example. It has no rules!
  6. This number is just a placeholder. Humans like to list things (me), but some lists just don’t end. (Insert profound concluding statement here ______.)

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