It’s Thanksgiving Day, and everyone is stuffed. The turkey has been picked clean and taken to the kitchen, where the dishes are stacked a mile high. Thus far, you’ve had to sit through the gory details of Aunt Thelma’s kidney stone operation. But you were able to avoid a potential landmine by refusing to talk politics with your sister-in-law because she watches The View every day. So now what? How about dusting off the old Scrabble board: That should be neutral territory, right?
Not so fast.
Scrabble Goes Woke
In 2021, Mattel, the makers of Scrabble, banned 400 words they deemed derogatory to make the game more “culturally relevant.” Worse still, they forced the World English Scrabble Players Association (WESPA) in the UK to remove the offending words or “they would withdraw licensing rights,” according to the British tabloid, The Daily Mail. That’s how you spell hardball (13 points).
Scrabble grandmaster, David Webb, is not too happy that Mattel caved into the woke movement and removed the words. He maintains the changes are a classic case of virtue signaling:
“Imposing American values on the world is pretty obnoxious, and forcing its licensees like Wespa to agree to expurgation or lose their licence is bullying.”
Addition By Subtraction?
Worse still, game officials haven’t bothered to say which words have been taken out, making it nearly impossible for players to know whether a term they want to make is acceptable. But there have been hints that words like fatso, gringo, honkies, papist, and jew are on the chopping block.
With so many words removed from the official Scrabble dictionary, there was bound to be a game reset in the offing. To make up for all the “offensive” terms that are no longer valid, the rule-makers recently added 500 new words to the seventh edition of the official Scrabble dictionary. It’s the first update of the timeless board game in four years, and Scrabble zealots (16 points) are – in a word – freaking (16 points).
Dozens of contemporary terms have been added to the official Scrabble dictionary. Casual players will like adding dox (11 points), which is now commonly used. Perhaps you atted (6 points) your daughter to remind her to get a vax (13 points), so she doesn’t get the flu. Or maybe your teen is now adulting (10 points).
Then there are the slang inclusions like sitch, zedonk, and convo. A fearless Scrabble player keeps their eyes on compound words and may hit the jackpot with a few newbies like unmute, pageview, and subtweet, along with what may be the highest scoring combination addition: Fauxhawk, which is defined as a haircut that resembles a Mohawk.
To satisfy the globalists, international foods have been added. Words like guac (7 points) and the middle eastern spice zaatar (15 points) are now legitimate. As far as the weird word list goes, you’ll find spork, zonkey, bae, and hygge approved for use. If you want to know what those mean, you’ll have to look them up.
Just like foodies love food, wordies love Scrabble and are unlikely to be deterred by these latest additions and subtractions. However, the casual player may want to be a bit more selective before issuing the dreaded challenge because knowing whether a word is in the Scrabble dictionary these days is a real crapshoot.
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