Any semi-serious Scrabble player knows that it doesn't matter what you and your friends agree on as legitimate words — it only matters which ones are in the official Scrabble dictionary. But now, you could actually have a say on what's in that dictionary: on Facebook, Hasbro is allowing fans to submit words that they'd like to see added to the dictionary, and one of them will be chosen for the book's update this year — its first major revision since 2005.
Current suggestions include the type of pop-culture references you'd expect ("twerk") along with some more clever Scrabble nerdiness: one submission hopes to add some new words with "Z" in them, and another wants to see "ew" — a somewhat strange current omission — included as a two letter word ("ew" is currently considered slang by Merriam-Webster, which publishes the official dictionary in the US).
What are the chances 'selfie' won't be in the final 16?
Hasbro will be curating the final nominees, so nothing too strange is likely to get through. Next month, it will announce a bracket of 16 final selections, which fans will vote on to determine the final winner just over a week later. "The Scrabble Word Showdown will let fans nominate and vote on words that are fun and relevant for today’s players,” Jonathan Berkowitz, Hasbro's marketing VP, says in a statement. Hasbro doesn't say whether the winning word will also be valid in tournament play.
The updated Official Scrabble Players Dictionary will be released in August, and Hasbro suggests that adding in tech and pop culture references that have emerged over the past decade is part of the reason for the revision. In particular, Hasbro lists "selfie" and "hashtag" as examples of the types of words it currently sees as absent. Those are probably along the lines of what the winner will look like too, but here's hoping for a new two-letter word to make playing on a cramped board a little bit easier.