“Some people have a way with words, and other people…oh, uh, not have way”*…
A few times each decade, the number of acceptable Scrabble words grows. Some sixty-five hundred new words—“lolz,” “shizzle,” and “blech” among them—will officially enter one of the two major competitive Scrabble lexicons on September 1st of this year. The grumbling that results when a word list lengthens is not so much about the inclusion of obscene or offensive words—though a cleaned-up list was controversially published in 1996, after someone protested the inclusion of “jew” as a verb. Instead, it is more about the growing divide between two Scrabble communities: North America and everywhere else…
The history of everyone’s favorite word game– and an explanation of the controversy roiling it today– at “The battle over Scrabble’s dictionaries.”
* Steve Martin
As we reach for a triple-letter double-word combo, we might recall that, while February 23rd, 1455 is the traditionally-given date of the publication of the Gutenberg Bible, the first Western book printed from movable type, the first evidence-based date is this date in 1456: the copy in the Bibliothèque nationale de France contains a note from the binder establishing the time of its publication.
(The Jikji— the world’s oldest known extant movable metal type printed book– was published in Korea in 1377. Bi Sheng created the first known moveable type– out of wood– in China in 1040.)