Being that Scabble is my most favorite game in the world, I was quite interested in hearing the news about proposed changes to the Official Scrabble Players Dictionary (OSPD) shared in the NY Times.
I recently had the opportunity to play Scrabble with an ordinary dictionary (travel version at that) and found it very unsatisfying. All of my usual end-of-game short words didn’t even exist in the travel dictionary. It made me miss my OSPD. But little did I know that the Scrabble Dictionary had so much conflict surrounding it.
From the NYT:
“The rules on the inside cover of the box, written by the game’s inventor, Alfred Butts, and its first marketer, James Brunot, are explicit: “Any words found in a standard dictionary are permitted except those capitalized, those designated as foreign words, abbreviations and words requiring apostrophes or hyphens.”
The interpretation of those rules, however, has been anything but simple. This past week, outrage sounded worldwide after reports, which proved untrue, that Scrabble would permit the use of proper nouns. The linguistic dust-up was only the latest in the game’s history.”
Apparently I am not the only one who has heated debates over whether foul language and foreign words commonly used in English should be allowed on the board. Apparently there is a constant debate over making the dictionary more inclusive versus concise. Next time I am arguing over a word with an opponent, I will remember two things: 1) I am not alone in my struggle 2) never play without my OSPD by my side.