Thursday, April 2, 2015
FAIRFIELD-SUISUN, CALIFORNIA
99 CENTS

Scrabblers rejoice: 5,000 new words are on the way

By
From page B6 | August 08, 2014 |

NEW YORK — To Scrabble fanatics, big gifts sometimes come in small packages.

The word “te” as a variant of “ti,” the seventh tone on the musical scale, is a hardworking little gem among 5,000 words added to “The Official Scrabble Players Dictionary,” out Aug. 11 from Merriam-Webster.

The dictionary’s last freshening up was a decade ago. Entries in the forthcoming book that include texter, vlog, bromance, hashtag, dubstep and selfie were mere twinkles on the racks of recreational players.

But it’s the addition of te and three other two-letter words — da, gi and po — that has Robin Pollock Daniel excited. Daniel, a clinical psychologist in Toronto, is a champion of the North American Scrabble Players Association, which has a committee that helps Merriam-Webster track down new, playable words of two to eight letters.

“Being able to hook an ‘e’ underneath ‘t’ means that I can play far more words,” explained Daniel, who practices Scrabble two to four hours a day. “Sometimes you play parallel to a word and you’re making two-letter words along the way. I call those the amino acids of Scrabble. The more two-letter words we have, the more possibilities a word will fit.”

One woman’s te is another man’s “qajaq,” one of Peter Sokolowski’s favorites among the new words. He’s a lexicographer and editor at large for the Springfield, Massachusetts-based Merriam-Webster.

Qajaq, he said in a recent interview with Daniel, reflects the Inuit roots of kayak and would require a blank tile since Scrabble sets include just one Q. But it’s a rare word starting with “q” that doesn’t require a “u.”

A bonus, to a word nerd like Sokolowski: qajaq is a palindrome, though that’s inconsequential in Scrabble.

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.

To be included in the 36-year-old book — this is the fifth edition — a word must be found in a standard dictionary, can’t require capitalization, can’t have hyphens or apostrophes and can’t be an abbreviation, in addition to being two to eight letters, reflecting the seven tiles players draw plus an eighth already on the board they can attach a long word to for bonus points.

Among the highest potential scorers among the new additions is “quinzhee,” a shelter made by hollowing out a pile of snow. Played on the board’s top row, ending at the top right through an existing “u,” and a player can score 401 points, including the 50-point “bingo” bonus for using all seven tiles.

Merriam-Webster didn’t identify all 5,000 new words but released a list of about 30 that also include:

Beatbox, 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.

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

Sokolowski anticipates a transitional period for some players who may need time getting used to the idea that so many new words will soon be in play.

“It is going to be a big step for a lot of people to switch to this,” he said, “but at the same time if you’re sitting at a Scrabble game after dinner and somebody plays the word selfie and somebody challenges that as not a real word, well guess what? It is.”

 

The Associated Press

The Associated Press

LEAVE A COMMENT

Discussion | No comments

The Daily Republic does not necessarily condone the comments here, nor does it review every post. Read our full policy

  • Recent Articles

  • Enter your email address to subscribe and receive notifications of new posts by email.

  • .

    Solano News

     
    College faculty shows solidarity as contract talks continue

    By Susan Winlow | From Page: A1 | Gallery

     
    Pursuit of happiness may need makeover

    By Mayrene Bates | From Page: A2

     
     
    Energy saver workshop to take place in Suisun

    By Ian Thompson | From Page: A3

    Pickleball decision stalls in Vacaville

    By Ryan McCarthy | From Page: A3 | Gallery

     
    Authorities cite speed in rollover crash

    By Kevin W. Green | From Page: A4

     
    Il Fiorello schedules April cooking classes

    By Susan Hiland | From Page: A4

     
    Lynch Canyon site of 7th annual Kite Festival

    By Susan Hiland | From Page: A4

    Chabad of Solano County to host Passover Seders

    By Amy Maginnis-Honey | From Page: A4

     
    Fairfield police log: March 31, 2015

    By Susan Hiland | From Page: A10

    Fairfield police log: March 30, 2015

    By Susan Hiland | From Page: A10

     
    Suisun City police log: March 31, 2015

    By Susan Hiland | From Page: A10

    Suisun City police Log: March 30, 2015

    By Susan Hiland | From Page: A10

     
    .

    US / World

    Snowpack dismal as governor orders cuts

    By The Associated Press | From Page: A1

     
    Wrongful death trial slated in teen suicide case

    By The Associated Press | From Page: A4

    Trespassing woman believed to have jumped fence

    By The Associated Press | From Page: A4

     
    Man’s death linked to too much iced tea

    By The Associated Press | From Page: A5

    Arkansas governor backs away from bill called ‘anti-gay’

    By The Associated Press | From Page: A5

     
    Districts seeking waiver from NCLB mandates

    By The Associated Press | From Page: A5

    National park admission fees set for an increase

    By The Associated Press | From Page: A5

     
    Alps crash: Bodies recovered, but families must wait months

    By The Associated Press | From Page: A6 | Gallery

    Iraq hails victory over Islamic State extremists in Tikrit

    By The Associated Press | From Page: A6

     
    Double overtime: Faltering Iran nuclear talks extended again

    By The Associated Press | From Page: A6

    .

    Opinion

     
    Aquino wants to make Philippines into Detroit

    By William Pesek | From Page: A7

    What’s driving you to distraction?

    By Kelvin Wade | From Page: A7

     
    Maybe need more for airplane security

    By Letter to the Editor | From Page: A7

    Thank you for your help

    By Letter to the Editor | From Page: A7

     
    Clinton: Our 1st woman president

    By Letter to the Editor | From Page: A7

    Editorial Cartoon: April 2, 2015

    By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A7

     
    .

    Living

    Today in History: April 2, 2015

    By The Associated Press | From Page: A2

     
    Community Calendar: April 2, 2015

    By Susan Hiland | From Page: A2

    Horoscopes: April 2, 2015

    By Holiday Mathis | From Page: A9

     
    2nd-place wife needs to decide if she’s better off without husband

    By Kathy Mitchell and Marcy Sugar | From Page: A9

    .

    Entertainment

    Mark Wahlberg to produce Boston Marathon bombing movie

    By The Associated Press | From Page: B4

     
    Cynthia Lennon, first wife of John Lennon, dies of cancer

    By The Associated Press | From Page: B4 | Gallery

    TVGrid

    By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B4

     
    Dish’s Internet TV, Sling, gets HBO service for $15 a month

    By The Associated Press | From Page: B4

    .

    Sports

    Miami, Stanford meet in NIT final matchup of banged-up teams

    By The Associated Press | From Page: B1

     
    Bumgarner outpitches Kluber as Giants beat Indians 5-2

    By The Associated Press | From Page: B1

    Chavez allows 3 hits in 6 innings as A’s beat Angels 4-1

    By The Associated Press | From Page: B1

     
    Harden’s career-high 51 lead Rockets over Kings 115-111

    By The Associated Press | From Page: B1

     
    IndyCar’s new aero kits leave debris trail in season opener

    By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

    Will Indiana law force 2016 women’s Final Four to relocate?

    By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

     
    AP Source: Kings to sign 1st NBA player of Indian descent

    By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

    Mullin: Trying to turn around St John’s an ‘obligation’

    By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

     
    California development for sports stadiums moves forward

    By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

    St. Louis County pulls taxpayers from NFL stadium financing

    By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

     
    Letters from old Yankee Stadium fail to sell at NYC auction

    By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

    Serena Williams earns 700th win to reach Miami Open semis

    By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

     
    US Senators want FIFA to move 2018 World Cup out of Russia

    By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

    NIT, MSG agree to 3-year contract extension through 2018

    By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

     
    Jordan Spieth, Patrick Reid ready for Houston Open

    By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

    .

    Business

    .

    Obituaries

    Charles Bell

    By Nancy Green | From Page: A4

     
    William Dean

    By Nancy Green | From Page: A4, 1 Comment

    Acencion “Ghenido” Zepeda

    By Susan Hiland | From Page: A4

     
    Manuel D. Ramos Sr.

    By Susan Hiland | From Page: A4

    .

    Comics

    Dilbert

    By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

     
    Sally Forth

    By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

    Blondie

    By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

     
    Garfield

    By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

    Baby Blues

    By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

     
    For Better or Worse

    By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

    B.C.

    By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

     
    Get Fuzzy

    By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

    Wizard of Id

    By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

     
    Zits

    By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

    Frank and Ernest

    By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

     
    Baldo

    By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

    Rose is Rose

    By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

     
    Pickles

    By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

    Peanuts

    By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

     
    Beetle Bailey

    By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

    Bridge

    By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A9

     
    Sudoku

    By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A9

    Cryptoquote

    By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A9

     
    Crossword

    By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A9

    Word Sleuth

    By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A9