Bananagrams (Issue 1072)

In which an evening of vigorous Bananagrams reminds us that, when pursuing business with a major account, we’ll do better if we spread out wide, building pathways and advocates in many parts of the firm, rather than concentrating all of our efforts on one person or department.

“So, are you challenging me?”

“No, I’m just wondering whether ‘Qi’ is a real word.”

“So, you ARE challenging me. You know the consequences if you lose.”

She sat still, quietly and assuredly staring at him, awaiting his answer. We were playing Bananagrams and she had declared ‘Bananas’ using a number of two letter words, one of which was “Qi”. None of us had ever seen, heard, or used the word Qi in anything approaching a sentence in English.


It turns out that ‘Qi” is real word. A quick internet search revealed: “Although it’s most commonly spelled CHI in standard usage, the variant form QI is the single most-played word in SCRABBLE tournaments, according to game records of the North American SCRABBLE Players Association (NASPA).”

Who knew? [Well, it turns out she did.]

Her first victory of the night and, while other players at the table were competitive, having only a few remaining letters to use, I had twelve letters remaining. Not a good outing.

We mixed our tiles in the middle of the table and began again.

“Bananas,” she called out after a while. No challenges this time.

And, again. “Bananas.”

And again. “Bananas.” So fast.

“How do you DO that?”, I complained/whined/asked.

“Well,” she said, “you need to know your two letter words. And…”

She pointed to my most recent effort…

“… if you look at my Bananagrams, what do you see? A long first word …and I spread my add-on words out wide, like a city subway system, so I leave plenty of room to add or change words between them. If you look at your grid, what do you see? A short first word. Your added words smushed tight together. Once you did what you could with them, you had no options to expand even though you had lots of letters remaining. You literally choked yourself out of the game.”

Nick Miller and Clarity train banks and bankers to attract and develop deeper relationships with small businesses. Many more Sales Thoughts like this and a host of other articles and resources at .




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