You are currently browsing the daily archive for April 6, 2010.

In the long, twilight struggle against encroaching cultural barbarism, another redoubt collapses:

The official rules of Scrabble are being changed for the first time in 62 years, to allow the names of celebrities, places and companies to be used.

When Alfred Butts, an American architect, invented and trademarked the game in 1948, the use of proper nouns was banned. But Mattel, the games manufacturer that owns the distribution rights to Scrabble, has announced plans to make a series of radical changes.

Players will now be permitted to use proper nouns, which will enable high scores from celebrities such as Jordan, Beyoncé and Shakira. Mattel is also considering allowing players to spell words backwards and upwards on the board and place words unconnected to other pieces.

A spokeswoman for the company said yesterday that the new rules would be a “great new twist” on the classic game. “The layout, the colours of the board, the rules and the game itself have all remained unchanged for more than 60 years,” she said. “These changes are the biggest news for Scrabble lovers in the history of the game and will provide a great new twist on the old formula.

A “great new twist” indeed.  Sounds more to me like a simple lowering of standards.  Or, if you prefer, a dumbing down.

The next step, I suppose, will be allowing players to make up their own words.  Or, perhaps, just make pretty patterns with the tiles on the board.



Blog Stats

  • 474,421 hits
April 2010