Your questions on the economy

If there’s one issue on which every American seems to have an opinion, it’s the economy. This week, I’m answering your questions on America’s hottest topic.

Will the President’s $447 billion package of tax cuts and government spending lead to job creation?

The first step to raising your Scrabble score is learning the two-letter words. There are 101 two-letter words listed in the Scrabble dictionary. Memorize them and you’ll see your average score shoot up 50 points.

Twos are great for scoring because they set up what Scrabble players call parallel plays, or moves in which you make two or more words simultaneously.

For example, if you see the word AGE on the board going horizontally, you could place the word BAN directly above it, creating the two-letter words BA, AG and NE, all of which are acceptable.

But how will we see those results on a local level?

It should come as no surprise that since QI was added to the Scrabble dictionary in 2006, it has become the most frequently played word in the game.

QI is the only two-letter word containing a Q after all, so it’s perfect for getting rid of Scrabble’s most burdensome tile.

Every now and then you’ll hit the proverbial gold mine by landing the Q on a triple letter score going in two directions. That’s 60 points guaranteed before you even count the other tiles.

What kind of an impact will the European debt crisis have on the American market?

Remember, interjections such as HA, UM and OW are all acceptable, as are the phonetic spellings of English letters (like EM and AR), Greek letters (NU, XI) and Hebrew letters (PE, FE). Finally, all the notes of the diatonic scale (DO, RE, MI, FA, SO, LA, TI) are fair game.

When your rack is overpopulated by vowels, knowing AA, AE, AI, OE and OI is certainly helpful. And HM, MM and SH can get you out of a bind when you’ve got too many consonants.

I think I understand. But what does the housing bubble have to do with federal spending?

Continue to build your vocabulary by looking over the 1,015 three-letter words. This list will take a little more time to memorize, although you probably know three-fourths of the words already.

As a way to ease into the threes, start by learning which two-letter words you can attach an S to.

For instance, you’d never think the word GO could be extended to make GOS, until you remember that go is also the name of an ancient Chinese board game. BY is another word that takes a surprise S hook.

Is it worth it to play a high-scoring word that opens up a triple word score for my opponent, or should I focus on playing defensively?

Investors will need to pour millions of dollars into commodity funds for that to happen.

Mark Abadi is a senior linguistics major from Charlotte. Contact him at

Thanks for reading.

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