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Scrabble: How These 5,000 New Words Has Changed the Game

Scrabble: How These 5,000 New Words Has Changed the Game
on August, 15 2014

Image credit: ‪Juniorscrabble Grieks taken by Mattel under Public Domain.‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬

Language is indeed alive and evolving—recently coined words have already become valid entries in the English dictionary. Some of these words came into existence to describe new concepts, while others were coined through widespread usage. The good news is that these new words have now become official and valid plays in Scrabble. In fact, 5,000 new words have been added to the standard Scrabble Players Dictionary.

Merriam-Webster published the additional words on August 11, with entries such as selfie, bromance, hashtag and texter. Also, a selection of two-letter words is now considered valid, including the word te—a variant of the musical note ti—as well as da, gi and po. Two-letter words are very important in Scrabble, as they can be used to form words that score both vertically and horizontally, providing the player with a much higher score.

It is worth noting that the inclusion of the new entries makes the game even more exciting, as the words can be used in many instances. For example, the word quinzhee is now an official word and can score as high as 401 points! (A quinzhee is a shelter created from a pile of snow.) Other words included in the newly published dictionary are buzzkill, chillax, frenemy, mojito, qigong, scmutz and yuzu.

Scrabble Standards

Although there are additional words in the standard dictionary, the core rules are left unchanged. Words that need to be capitalized are still invalid, along with words that need hyphens and apostrophes, and abbreviated words.

The Advantages of More Words

Many Scrabble players are positive about the move. To them, it is a way of encouraging younger people to play scrabble, as the game will no longer be thought of as something that only “intelligent” kids can relate to. The inclusion of colloquial terms, as well as the terms that young people often use in everyday conversations, means that Scrabble is more accessible. The validation of two-letter words also makes the game more exciting, as the pairing of vowels and consonants can lead to high scores.

The Downsides

A slight problem arises with the inclusion of more words: for some players, it makes the game less challenging. The good thing about Scrabble is that a lot of words are considered invalid; therefore, players need to think creatively to make the most out of the letters they have drawn. With the validation of more words, a less challenging game may develop. Additionally, there could be more word challenges if the updated Players Dictionary is not available, as players attempt to introduce new terms that are foreign to their opponents.

While there might be mixed views about the inclusion of more Scrabble words, the game has become a lot more exciting and surprising—especially if words that are more contemporary are being played.

Bernadine Racoma

Bernadine is a writer, researcher, professional and multi-awarded blogger and new media consultant. She brings with her a rich set of experience in the corporate world, as well as in the field of research and writing. Having taken early retirement after working as an international civil servant and traveling the world for 22 years, she has aggressively pursued her main interest in writing and research. You can also find Bernadine Racoma at .

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