by Sue Curry Jones
I grew up playing board games with my family. And, some board games like Scrabble, I still play today.
But when I was a kid, Scrabble was likely my least favorite past-time game, as Monopoly seemed to be the game we played together the most as a family. Monopoly was a little more exciting and competitive, especially between siblings and parents.
Now that I’m older, my husband and I enjoy playing Scrabble.
Sometimes we play the game with the old-fashioned board and wooden letters with trays, and on other occasions, we play on the computer. But, we rarely play during summer months, as Scrabble is our “go to” game during winter and inclement weather days.
Keith and I keep our play simple, we don’t use a lot of supplemental help or reference books. But, we are both extremely competitive, and it shows in our approach to play each game. Most of our games are spontaneous and straightforward. No cheating. No prepping. No outside resources.
So I was surprised this week when I read a Wall Street Journal editorial announcing that Merriam Webster just released the sixth edition of the Official Scrabble Players Dictionary.
The sixth edition ––– I had no idea a specialized dictionary for Scrabble existed. And, after reading more, I learned the first Merriam Webster Players edition published in 1976.
Later, I also found a website entitled Tools for Passionate Scrabble Players by Hasbro, the maker of the game. It seems I’ve been missing out –– for 42 years.
According to the article, the latest edition of the Scrabble Dictionary now includes words like zomboid, bestie, ew, facepalm, emoji, and more. Some of these words are familiar and meaningful to a much younger generation of players, as the words tend to represent current cultural expressions.
However, one word recently added to the Scrabble dictionary, that in my opinion should have been included quite some time ago, is the word OK. OK is a two–letter word that has always offered lots of playing potential during a game of Scrabble, and for those of us who play frequently, this two-letter word when placed in just the right location, on a double or triple point position, can be quite a coup. Scoring lots of points.
Playing Scrabble will continue to be lots of fun for us, with or without knowledge of this newly published sixth edition dictionary. My husband and I enjoy the mental challenge, as well as the competitive nature of the game. We also enjoy playing the old-fashioned way with a real board and wooden letter trays.
But for me, the Official Scrabble Players Dictionary contains unusual words –– words that are not part of my day-to-day vocabulary –– words I would not use in general conversation. However, now that I have this information, they may very well appear on the board in our next game. And, when I play one of these new words, no doubt my dear husband will quickly question it in a challenge. Something he has done many times before when I attempt to slip in a questionable word, during a moment of competitive desperation.
With this newfound knowledge, however, my game strategy may prove to be a bit more diverse and competitive, as some of my far fetched words may actually be legal to use according to the newly released Official Scrabble Players Dictionary, sixth edition.
I guess we’ll find out this winter.