On both Chez and Gladiators, lexicons have been updated to the 2020 word lists.
SCHOOL lexicon: OSPD lexicon is known as NSWL2020 (school word list). There are 4178 word additions and 174 deletions since the last update.
CLUB and TOURNAMENT lexicon: no additions, and removal of 236 words deemed offensive by a committee. This made the news rounds last summer when it transpired. I’m not sure why their list has 236 words removed, but on our site, my Java lexicon updater shows 259 removals. I may have missed a transitory correction last year.
But either way, if you want to know what changed, then from the Chez play panel, press the ‘member’ button along the left, then click “Useful Scr*bble Stuff” and go from there.
I’d say the remove word list is not for the timid, except many of us have been playing those words for decades.
From NPR regarding the changes:
7 thoughts on “North American Lexicons Updated”
Thanks Ben, I like this.
Thanks, Pauline! It took a while to figure out how to connect the blog to the site. UPDATE is currently set to persist for 3 1/2 days, at which time it will return to News/Blog. Any post here will trigger UPDATE at Chez & Gladiators. Now that I’ve got this sorted, I can start putting some helper articles up for the things I’m asked about all the time, like — why are my tiles not all showing up? And this blog will persist even if the other site is temporarily down — handy for operating system upgrades like last year.
I for one do not understand chez moi, giving into the cancel culture.
Scrabble is different as any word used in the English language, even derogatory are classed as words. So who is the judge why just 259 removals. Do we remove also words that share meanings with more “legitimate “ words. Why stop there, lets remove words which really aren’t English based, such as croissant.
Why are these words erased deemed offensive. Were they not offensive before BLM came along. Just a lot of silliness in my opinion. (From a Jew who loves getting 54 points above an O on triple letter)
Dave, “cancel culture” is highly overused, wouldn’t you agree? That irrelevant mischaracterization of our site notwithstanding, I’ll just affirm the policy of the site. The lexicons for North American (OWL, TWL, et. al.) is going to continue to be the lexicon valid for club and tournament play in North America. The lexicon known as SOWPODS will the the lexicon valid for club and tournament play everywhere else in the world (English in both cases). I try to keep the French lexicon up to date for the 10-20 games out there, but that lexicon information is difficult for me to obtain.
I agree that it is a very a slippery slope to be voting words off and on the island, so to speak, based on the mood of the day, and/or the make up of the word committee.
But what I feel about HOW the word list is determined is irrelevant; my job is simply to synchronize with the word list in use for clubs and tournaments. It’s simply my policy not to be in the business of me setting the lexicon, or allowing users to set their own lexicon, here anyway.
You might look into the history of the original word list if you do not know why croissant is in the lexicon. And regarding the word expulsions, perhaps provide feedback to these folks: http://www.scrabbleplayers.org/w/Welcome_to_NASPAWiki. I know it was not done without considerable controversy.
One last point — the removals were because they WERE offensive to many beforehand. Them being in the lexicon doesn’t mean they weren’t offensive; it just means they were in the lexicon. I remember when I first played Scrabble and was surprised to find out some of the words you could play in tournaments or clubs. At least one word was offensive to me. And in play here at Chez, against some opponents, I have declined to play some words. Turns out, every word I ever skipped because of due consideration to my opponent’s sensibilities was just removed. Hmmm…
Note that not a single word was removed in the OSPD version of the lexicon (suitable for school use, etc.). Those words simply were never there, for the same reasons as why they just got purged from the club/tourney list.
Anyway, the list is the list, as I said earlier. I’ll leave the additions and subtractions to the respective national organizations.
A minor nit: “Gladitors” is missing an “a” at the top of the page.
Thanks for all you do!
Nice catch… fixed!