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Google web search reveals English letter frequency, helps our Scrabble hustle

Jon Fingas, @jonfingas
January 15, 2013
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Wordsmiths go to great lengths to master a game of Scrabble or Words With Friends. Rarely are their efforts quite so calculated, however, as what we're seeing today. After Google research director Peter Norvig used his company's search engine to determine letter frequency in the English language, Deadspin and developer Kyle Rimkus compared it against Scrabble's point system and available words to determine which letters generate the most value relative to how often they can play. In short: H, Y and Z produce the most bang for the alphabetic buck, while J and Q are plagues on the rack that are seldom worth saving for a special moment. We can't guarantee that following the Google-derived tips will have serious opponents begging for mercy -- a wide vocabulary is often the real clincher -- but they may help a few of us wondering what to play on that triple word score.

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