So from August the 11th, words like Selfie, Chillax, Frenemy, Schmutz, texter, buzzkill and funplex will now be allowed on the board. Their inclusion reflecting the fluidity of the English language and the influence the internet has on our culture. It’s most likely that linguistic purists will turn up their noses at many of the 5000 new words, most of which originated in digital popular culture and seeped their way unsuspectingly into common communications. But Peter Sokolowski, who’s one of the editors of the dictionary, shares that, “These word have become part of the culture, part of the language, and if people say them, they rightly deserve a position in the dictionary.”
Even better news for Scrabble fans is the addition of more two-letter words like “te.” When a game gets into its advanced stages, every square counts. So being able to use two letter-linking words is vital in the tense race to clear your tile board.
Ultimately the new word additions will create a more complex game. There will be more word options to use, more ways to use them and livelier discussion around each play. Scrabble old-timers say the last update, which included words like “qi” and “za,” entirely changed the face of the game.
Stefan Fatsis, a scrabble expert said, “Each subsequent edition of the book, it makes the game richer.” He’s the author of Word Freak: Heartbreak, Triumph, Genius, and Obsession in the World of Competitive Scrabble Players and knows all to well the dynamics involved when the rules change in a 76 year-old game.
Conflict and criticism aside, it’s important to remember that Scrabble remains a game for all ages. It’s one of the few games that every generation in the family can enjoy together. New additions are inevitable and should be welcomed by amateurs and professionals alike. There are a lot of benefits to these types of games and they can even help teach you about money.
New words mean new opportunities to score and more paths to Scrabble glory. So we’ve got a few little words for all the Scrabble purists out there. Just chillax! There’s no need to buzzkill, it’s just a game people. Everything’s going to be quite alright.
(Photo courtesy of Chriſtopher Chen)