4th Thursday [4]: Nothing to LOL About

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A recent story picked up by multiple news outlets claimed that the Scrabble dictionary has just allowed 6,500 new words, including many from modern text- and chat-speak, such as RIDIC, OBVS, and LOLZ.

But a die-hard Scrabble player will tell you that there is no Scrabble dictionary; there are many of them. For a casual game, the dictionary is whichever is chosen and agreed to by the players at the table. The one I cite for my blog is “The Official Scrabble Player’s Dictionary,” the family-friendly and apparently English-language friendly version most often used by online incarnations of the game. Paying members of Scrabble Associations use official word lists in their tournaments.  The news story refers to the “Collins Scrabble Words List,” which is an international tournament list. However, tournament players in North America use a different list, the “Official Tournament and Club Word List,” edited by their own committee.

So what, you might ask, would be the ground rules for accepting these kinds of modern “words”? LOL is clearly an acronym, but I could pronounce it (loll). OMG is also an acronym, but can I pronounce it (omguh)? I don’t think so. I would never allow TTYL in a game, but I insist that QWERTY is acceptable? Yes. QWERTY is neither an acronym nor a word without a definition. As for something like OBVS, I can shorten a word all I want, but that doesn’t make the shortened version a whole new word. I c shrtn a wrd L I wan, bt th dont mak the shend vers a ho nw wrd. That would be ridic.

LOLZ — 0 points. Challenged and turn forfeited.

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