Thousands of new and slang words added to ′official′ Scrabble list | News | DW | 21.05.2015
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Thousands of new and slang words added to 'official' Scrabble list

About 6,500 words have been added to the definitive Scrabble word list. Expressions such as "lolz" and "twerking" as well as "cakehole" are now permitted. Purists are aghast, calling the changes ridiculous.

British publishing house Collins released the latest edition of its "Official Scrabble Words" - the Scrabble "Bible" for all English-language enthusiasts on Thursday. And yet some would argue this tome is increasingly cluttered with sacrilegious entries.

Among the around 6,500 new words are plenty of slang expressions and abbreviated versions of words used in texting and social networks. "Lolz," "obvs" for obvious "lotsa" for lots of as well as "twerking", "hashtag" and "facetime" are some examples.

"The Internet age has revolutionized the inclusion of slang in dictionaries and Collins' 'Official Scrabble Words' is no exception," said Helen Newstead, head of language content at Collins.

"Now people use slang in social media posts, tweets, blogs, comments, text messages, you name it, so there's a host of evidence for informal varieties of English that simply didn't exist before."

Also included for the first time are words attempting to describe sounds phonetically, such as "eew" and "yeesh."

There are also plenty of slang words from - mainly American - pop culture, among them "shizzle"- a form of US rap slang, or "dench" meaning excellent.

But Scrabble purists are not amused. Sue Bowman, membership secretary of the Association of British Scrabble Players, told the Daily Telegraph newspaper that the new words were an "abuse of the English language".

"They seem very artificial.... It is mainly youth culture and American influence," the 67-year-old said.

But writer and former Conservative MP Gyles Brandreth, who also founded the UK's National Scrabble Championship in 1971, told the same paper that he supports the changes, saying that slang words from all over the world "are enriching our language."

The number of words added this year is double the number added in the previous update in 2011.

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