Belfast Telegraph

Saturday 22 November 2014

Selfie new score for Scrabble fans

The new words add about 40 pages to the Scrabble-sanctioned dictionary
The new words add about 40 pages to the Scrabble-sanctioned dictionary

To fans of Scrabble, big gifts sometimes come in small packages - particularly when new two-letter words are added to the official dictionary for the boardgame.

The word "te" as a variant of "ti," the seventh tone on the musical scale, is one of 5,000 words added to The Official Scrabble Players Dictionary" which is out later this month.

The dictionary hasn't been expanded for 10 years, which meant Scrabble players trying to score big with texter, vlog, bromance, hashtag, dubstep and selfie were often challenged for an illegal word.

But it's the addition of te and three other two-letter words - da, gi and po - that has hardcore Scrabble fans excited.

The new words add about 40 pages to the Scrabble-sanctioned dictionary, which already lists more than 100,000 playable words. Definitions are kept to a minimum but parts of speech and whether a plural is available are noted.

The new words also include b eatbox, buzzkill, chillax, coqui, frenemy, funplex, jockdom, joypad, mixtape, mojito, ponzu, qigong, schmutz, sudoku and yuzu.

Geocache was also added, voted into the dictionary by the public during a Facebook contest in May.

To be included in the 36-year-old book - now in its fifth edition - a word must be found in a standard dictionary, cannot require capitalisation, hyphens or apostrophes and cannot be an abbreviation.

Among the highest potential scorers among the new additions is "quinzhee," a shelter made by hollowing out a pile of snow which has the potential to score 401 points if played on the right part of the board off an existing letter so that it attracts a 50-point "bingo" bonus for using all seven tiles.

Robin Pollock Daniel, the current North American Scrabble Players Association champion thinks the changes will open up the game to a new generation.

"It makes the game more accessible to younger people, which we're always looking for," Mr Daniel said of the update. "All the technology words make it more attractive to them."

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