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Scrabble world in turmoil as US toy company gets their way over banning slurs from popular word game


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Scrabble world in turmoil as US toy company gets their way over banning slurs from popular word game

 

scrabble.jpg

 

The world of professional Scrabble playing has been thrown into uproar and turmoil after a vote at the weekend that means up to 400 words deemed slurs or offensive will be removed from the Scrabble dictionary.

 

US toy company Mattel who markets Scrabble and owns the rights to the use of the name gave an ultimatum to WESPA - the World English Language Scrabble Players Association.

 

The association put a vote to all the countries in the world who are members of WESPA - accept the "expurgation" and stay with the right to use the word Scrabble in their tournaments.

 

Or reject it and go it alone from Mattel and start calling the game by another name like "Crossword Game" as it is known in Thailand.

 

This would mean players could continue to use any word so long as it is in the dictionary. 

 

A 75% vote was needed but the motion was defeated meaning that the offensive words will now be removed.

 

Mattel also plan to change the wording in their box sets to stop the use of bad language in the rules. 

 

This will come as a shock to many who play the game casually around the world who like to sneak in the odd "naughty" word.

 

The issue has deeply divided the professional players around the world many of whom consider their game a sport and don't want corporate giants to meddle with it.

 

Some say removing words from the dictionary is reasonable so that the game can become more mainstream and be televised or streamed more easily without the embarrassment of rude words especially where children or ethnic minorities are concerned.

 

Others have said that big corporations - and Mattel is a multi billion dollar company - should not dictate what words can be played.

 

Online Scrabble forums cater to thousands of tournament players around the world where, pre-pandemic, quite substantial cash prizes were offered at international tournaments and world championships in countries as diverse as the US, Nigeria, India, the UK, Pakistan, Australia and Thailand. 

 

Thailand has had two world champions in the past and is considered a world leader in promoting the game, especially to Thai children. The Thai association abstained in the vote.

 

The forums have been abuzz with comment with some calling for a new vote claiming their views were not respected. They also want a new debate when the unacceptable list is revealed.

 

Meanwhile, the controversy has largely been missed on the now millions of casual players who play well-liked versions of the world's most popular word game on phone platforms like Scrabble Go.

 

Mystery also surrounds what words will be removed from the official lexicon produced by Collins that contains well over 200,000 words.

 

Exactly what constitutes a slur is being hotly debated. Should words that have polite as well as rude meanings be allowed. 

 

Some say that the initial proposals for removal are too Western centered with slurs more familiar in Asia and the sub-continent allowed to stay in because they don't offend westerners. 

 

Some say it started with the so called "N" word used disparagingly of black people in the United States but has now got totally out of hand as many cry "woke" to those that feel the need to dictate to others.

 

They say that removing a word from a dictionary will not remove it from use in society in general and the action of the game maker's is mere "window-dressing".

 

Mattel have been prompted into action by a culture of what many see as excessive political correctness emanating from the United States. The company feel their reputation is on the line - as well as perhaps their profits. 

 

Many practitioners of the game - a highly skilful and strategic pastime when played at the higher levels - think only lexicographers should decide on the inclusion or omission of words. 

 

People point to the fact that in Scrabble, words score points and no one in the professional game is intending to be rude or offensive in playing words that are listed as such in source dictionaries. 

 

Nigeria was against the removal of the words but the UK and the US voted for deletion and keeping the Scrabble name. Opinion in the US and UK was nevertheless divided amid allegations of unfair "block voting".

 

The issue has led to the resignation of three key people in the Scrabble community who disagree with the expurgation.

 

Two are British wordsmiths and authors with decades of service to WESPA's dictionary committee.

 

The third is an Australian lady who has worked tirelessly to promote Scrabble among youth around the world. 

 

Former world Scrabble champions are also at loggerheads as the debate rages on. 

 

The language being used in online forums contains many of the words likely to be banned!

 

Scrabble has gained in popularity during the pandemic with many enjoying an online game in lockdown around the world.

 

But with face to face contact being a no-no the regular tournament scene has been on hold since early last year. 

 

Meanwhile Chess, spurred on by the success of The Queen's Gambit on Netflix, has many Scrabble players bemoaning why Scrabble can't enjoy the same level of popularity. 

 

Some critics of Mattel say they do little to promote Scrabble and just rake in the profits plowing little back into the tournament community. 

 

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-- © Copyright Thai Visa News 2021-03-03
 
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1 hour ago, gunderhill said:

KANWRES    not sure if  I  have a  7  letter word in there or  not?

I think there might be an anagram there? Are you dailysex dyslexic?

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1 hour ago, gunderhill said:

KANWRES    not sure if  I  have a  7  letter word in there or  not?

  Took me about a minute to see this!

 

It really does cause blindness, it seems.

 

 

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Right, the world is going nuts. But are we all aware of that? 

 

In the meantime I am watching M.A.S.H, as a therapy.

Edited by Boomer6969
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Not content with rewriting history the left now attack the dictionary...nothing else for it i guess other than an underground dictionary 

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23 minutes ago, wombat said:

Not content with rewriting history the left now attack the dictionary...nothing else for it i guess other than an underground dictionary 

I think that one could be getting too deep, covert, subterranean, for me.

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Will they still be allowed a BLACK & WHITE team in Chess? Maybe change to Red & Blue in honour of this Sundays EPL match!   LOL

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32 minutes ago, bluesofa said:

I think that one could be getting too deep, covert, subterranean, for me.

 You mean like Sitnalta?

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10 minutes ago, faraday said:
44 minutes ago, bluesofa said:

I think that one could be getting too deep, covert, subterranean, for me.

 You mean like Sitnalta?

I've never been to Talistan. Do I still need a visa for those Eastern European countries?

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2 hours ago, bluesofa said:

I think there might be an anagram there? Are you dailysex dyslexic?

I'm whatever I want to identify as, come on man, where have you  been? Today I identify as an 8 year  old  girl.  Sums  up todays world nicely

Sums  up the modern  world

Edited by gunderhill
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2 hours ago, faraday said:

  Took me about a minute to see this!

 

It really does cause blindness, it seems.

 

 

Its  True  just ask angrykid's  Dad  

 

Edited by gunderhill
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2 hours ago, bluesofa said:

I think there might be an anagram there? Are you dailysex dyslexic?

Is it only the partially sighted get up early in the morning? I'm still waiting.

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7 hours ago, gunderhill said:

KANWRES    not sure if  I  have a  7  letter word in there or  not?

That's easy SWANKER, more swank.

 

88 points as an opening move!

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4 hours ago, BostonRob2 said:

That's easy SWANKER, more swank.

 

88 points as an opening move!

Should that not be SWANKIER?

Edited by KannikaP
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