COLUMN: Really, Miss Thang, these new Scrabble words have gone too far

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By Jeff Moreland

It’s very possible that I have dropped my last little wooden tile.
Yes, I’m an avid Scrabble player, and it’s a game my family and I enjoy playing together, but some recent changes are just too much.
We have several versions of Scrabble, from the basic old board to Scrabble Deluxe. My wife and I sometimes will sit in the living room and talk while playing Scrabble wirelessly across the living room on our iPhones, and now, there’s even an iPhone app that we can use as a family, letting the iPad serve as a game board while we hold our letters on our iPhones. Yes, we’re Scrabble-holics!
This past week, the classic board game announced that it will be expanding the official Scrabble dictionary by more than 3,000 words. I couldn’t believe it when I saw that number – 3,000 – is it really possible?
Where do all of these new words come from?
As I looked down the list of some of the new “words,” I realized where they came from. Someone pulled them from thin air. Yep, they must have just made them up.
For any of you who play Scrabble, you have no doubt found yourself holding a “Q” late in the game and had nothing to make from it. Well, take heart. Now you can use the word “Qin.” Sure, you know what a qin is, don’t you? It’s a Chinese zither, which has strings stretched across a flat box. Yeah, now you remember, don’t you?
I tried to figure this one out and decide, at least by my own logic, why this word needed to be added to Scrabble. I can clearly see why words like Facebook and MySpace have been added to the dictionary. They are terms used commonly in pop culture. But qin? Do people refer to a qin so frequently that we need to add it to Scrabble? I don’t think so.
Qin really bugged me, but the next new entry – I refuse to call it a word – just flat made me mad.
No, you didn’t read it incorrectly, and I didn’t misspell it. Scrabble has now decided that “innit” is a word worthy of adding to its dictionary.
First of all, it is not a word. Secondly, it’s not even based on a word, but on the contraction “isn’t it.”
I’ll be 40 years old soon, and I will admit there are some things I may not be completely aware of when it comes to modern slang, and that’s fine by me. I am aware that if we have become so lazy that we say “innit” instead of isn’t it, then that is just pathetic.
Who talks this way, and especially, who writes like this? I know there are tons of shortened versions of words when it comes to text messages, and that makes sense. I don’t use them, but I get it. I’m old school, and I use proper spelling and grammar, even in texting. If you get a text message from me, you’ll have no trouble figuring it out. It will be written in plain English, and every word will be spelled out completely and correctly.
Oh, I’m not finished. Don’t forget other new entries, like “thang” and “grrl” for those who want to use the same amount of letters, but just choose to spell the word incorrectly because, well, who knows?
As long as I’ve been playing Scrabble and enjoying the game, my family and I might just have to start playing without the official dictionary, which we normally have at hand. If this is the kind of jibberish that is going to be put in the Scrabble dictionary, it might just be time to dump all of my little wooden tiles back into the bag and call it quits.
Jeff Moreland is publisher of The Springfield Sun.