We have no one to blame but ourselves. The publishers of the official Scrabble wordlist have announced the addition of words like “blech,” “lolz,” and “thanx” to the list. To borrow a word from their new list, YEESH.
Image: Mega Pixel
Collins is the British maker of the widely-used Official Scrabble Wordlist, but according to the North American Scrabble Players Association, it’s used “in the majority of countries where the game is played in English as the Scrabble lexicon,” meaning their wordlist is law in Scrabble games in 47 different countries.
The revised word list -- there are 6,500 in all! -- contains a huge variety of new words. There are some fun nods to online culture, like "emoji" and "facetime." But then there are words like blech, an "interjection expressing disgust" and wahh, an "interjection used to express wailing." These are not words! They are expressions, just as Collins notes.
Behold some of the other words that will now be permissible in official Scrabble gameplay, according to the Guardian:
- Lolz (13 points)
- Bezzy (18 points)
- Thanx (15 points)
- Lotsa (5 points)
- Cazh (18 points)
- Wuz (15 points)
There's a fine but distinct line between neologisms like "vape" and non-words like "cazh" and "wahh." Vaping is colloquial, but cazh is a made-up spelling of a slang term someone said as a joke, maybe, once. Sure, let's add new words like twerking and vaping to the list. They are widely used! But "cazh?" And even "lolz?" The spelling of slang terms differs wildly depending on the person using it, which makes them more questionable.
As you might expect, Twitter is a bouquet of outrage.
Thanx? I'm APPALLED: BBC News - Thousand of new words added to Scrabble dictionary http://t.co/h3ns2pz004
— Siobhan Talbott (@SiobhanTalbott) May 21, 2015
SO GLAD YOU CAN USE EVERY WORD IN THE PHRASE "PH'NGLUI MGLW'NAFH CTHULHU R'LYEH WGAH'NAGL FHTAGN" IN SCRABBLE NOW
— CHEEZ ITS RUBEL (@Ketamine_Stalin) May 21, 2015
— Lady FOHF (@LadyFOHF) May 21, 2015
Still, some people are actually excited about the new words. Scrabble champion Craig Beevers tells the Guardian that he likes the new words, saying, "new words provide fresh ammunition and change the dynamics a little here and there, as well as giving me something new to learn, of course."
When I was a kid (*granny voice*) our Scrabble games usually involved us trying to get slang terms over on our parents, and then getting absolutely owned by their super-complex game-winning words. Learning obscure, complicated words was -- is -- part of the fun. Maybe if we'd been able to play "lolz" officially, we would have won more often. But then again, back in my day, we just spelled it "lol."