No, Scrabble, These Are Not Words

Scrabble has released its new list of acceptable words, and this one's a doozie. In fact, doozie is probably included.

Scrabble wants to be relevant so you and your bae or bezzy can have lotsa lolz. Just be sure to say thanx for the game. Those are just some of the 6,500 new additions.

Over at Business Insider, they're having fun making sentences with as many words as they can.

In addition to operational words used with modern technology (like "checkbox"), there are piles and piles of slang. If you're devo, complain to your tweeps, because it should have been obvs.

There is an argument to be made for common usage, and I regularly employ that argument when the pedant brigade digs its trenches around a word in a debate. It's why I don't throttle people when they say "decimate" and think it means to destroy. Above all, language is a tool to be used by us, not something we're slaves to.

But what's less obvs is why words should be included that are little more than sounds. "Eew", "Grr", and "Waah"? And some words actually seem like a semi-troll. Cakeage? As in, the charge for a BYO cake at a restaurant? Is that some kind of Eastern thing, or far from it? The Dude can't abide.

I'm going to ring my grandmother and warn her.

[Business Insider]


    And yet I'd bet they still don't think that kwyjibo is a perfectly cromulent word.

      purple monkey dishwasher!

      But seriously, this is another step to reverting back to communicating in grunts and facial ticks. We're already extremely lazy with the English language, listen to any conversation on a train at school knockoff times, it's disheartening to hear the abuse our language endures.

        Scrabble's just a game. Them updating their dictionary is nothing more than a regular rule patch. It's not a true reflection of the English language.

          But the whole idea of the game is about using words; what's the point if half of the "words" allowed are nonsense.

            It's a game fighting for continued relevance as a new wave of board games threaten to take its place on store shelves.

            I doubt anyone is going to think that Hasbro is the English equivalent of Académie française.

              for that I would argue for raising the bar on tactical opportunity instead of lowering the bar for literary knowledge - think how Upwords both literally and figuratively built upon the foundations of Scrabble.
              Why not try something with modifier tiles? or an optional deck of action cards that allow stealing tiles or gaining extras for a turn? Look at how the Boggle design was adapted for the likes of Bookworm and Letter Quest!

                Bananagrams is another great game based on Scrabble.

                Scrabble's success comes from its simplicity, anyone can learn it quickly. Scrabble's depth comes from score optimisation, basically being good at anagrams. Changing the dictionary let's the game keep those strengths while still being Scrabble.

                The English language is simply a tool that Scrabble employs. A tool doesn't have to be used properly for it to be effective at what it's doing and that's the case here.

        Or work site. But such has been the case for hundreds of years. Do you think they spoke perfect english on the first fleet?

          No, but we are supposed to evolve - that doesn't just mean from apes to man, but also our art, culture, language.
          The human race has always expanded, but have we always grown? There's a massive difference.

            You assume evolution moves in a desirable direction... Lots of reality tv on these days if you know what i mean

        And of course we all know that one only reverts. To revert back means to go forward...

        It's not like the English language isn't already extremely lazy. Why come up with your own word when you can beat up another language in an alley way ,and rifle through their pockets for spare vocabulary.

    It was painful to even read this. I think I'd do a literal tableflip if I had to play these rules with someone.

      Do yourself a favour and check out Paperback. The same basic word building concept as Scrabble but much more game to it.

    Decimate - verb - "kill, destroy, or remove a large proportion of."

      Decimate - verb - "kill one in every ten of (a group of people, originally a mutinous Roman legion) as a punishment for the whole group."

      The definition you gave is the "common usage" definition he was talking about while this one is the original, as you could guess from the "deci-" prefix.

        The english language works by the words that people use and the meaning they attach to it on a day to day basis becoming part of it. Decimate has been used to mean exactly what I said for a very long time. It's silly to be annoyed with that.

        Yeah, and 'sinister' ONLY means 'left-handed'. I get what the writer meant, but it was a stupid example - the origin of the word 'decimate' might be from the Latin but that's not its only meaning.

      Which is the exact point; the historical context has been lost due to people assuming that it means to destroy. The etymology shows that the one in ten was used not only to describe the roman practice of killing one in ten as a punishment, but also as a description of collecting tithes of 10%, or 'one in ten'.

    Haven't most of these words been added to the dictionary now anyway? So Scrabble is just staying consistent with the additions to the English language right?

    (even if those additions are stupid)

    The kind of people who are interested in scrabble (myself included) aren't interested
    in scoring points from onomatopoeia and wouldn't let their opponents get away with it without ridicule.

      Are you joking? If someone with 7 letters or less manages to form a 12 letter word using 5 or more letters that exists on the board, I would award them the game, pack up and frame the scorecard straight away. You would greet them with derision?

      On the other hand, if some prick won the game with 'lolz' I would consider hanging them from the rafters, even if they were my 'bezzy'.

      Last edited 29/05/15 11:19 am

        I'm guessing you don't know what onomatopoeia means.

        the formation of a word, as cuckoo, meow, honk, or boom, by imitation of a sound made by or associated with its referent.

        So "words" such as eek, grr, waah, ect is what he would mock.

          I think you missed the joke. He deliberately misinterpreted the original post to mean someone scoring with the word "onomatopoeia" itself.

          Actually, I was aware of the meaning, my focus was on assuming he meant the use of the word, which was my mistake. It seems we are on the same page, then.

    How do you not know what 'cakeage' is? It's the worst thing to happen to restaurants since corkage.

    Last edited 29/05/15 10:44 pm

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