Here was Seth Godin’s post from the other day:
People who are very good at Scrabble are not more kind, better judges of character, more facile with soft skills, better long-term thinkers, more fun at parties or much of anything except good at Scrabble. (emphasis added)
Of course we don’t decide on who should have positions of authority or who should be trusted based on their skill at Scrabble. It’s simply a game.
Perhaps the same could be true for beauty, celebrity or the acquisition of wealth.
When I first read his post, I think I knew the point Seth was trying to make.
Just because someone is good at one thing, or has a particular skill, does not mean we can assume the person is good at everything.
Similarly, just because someone is wealthy does not necessarily mean they are better judges of character or more fun at parties.
And I would agree with such a belief.
However, when I reread the first sentence, focusing on the parts that I bolded, it seems to suggest that people who are very good at Scrabble are not much of anything except good at Scrabble.
I am sure there are some Scrabble players who have more going on in their life than just Scrabble, and would not want to be considered “not much of anything”.
For example, Jesse Day is one of the best Scrabble players in the U.S., and he also has a Ph.D. in Atmospheric Science from Berkeley and speaks six languages.
David Eldar won the World Scrabble Championship in 2017. He is also a professional poker player, and has earned over $1,800,000, as of April 2018.
And one more for good measure.
Adam Logan is a research mathematician and a top Canadian Scrabble player, having won the World Scrabble Championship in 2005.
I am sure the bolded parts of the sentence above are not what Seth meant to imply, but it sure reads that way to me.
Of course, it’s possible, and probable, that I am the one interpreting the sentence incorrectly. After all, Seth has written several best-selling books and The Icarus Deception is one of my all-time favorite books. He is also a world-renowned marketing guru and his daily blog is a must-read for me.
But if not, maybe Seth should find a Scrabble player who is also an editor to check his work.
P.S. I noticed after my first draft of this post that I had misspelled Scrabble every time as Scrapple. I guess you can’t take the Philly out of the boy…
*image from Amazon