Scrabble bans hundreds of offensive words from competitive play

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Hundreds of offensive words are being removed from official Scrabble competitions, as the players’ association has reached a deal with Hasbro to remove 225 offensive terms.

The discussion among North Americans Scrabble Players Association (NASPA), the representative and advisory council of Scrabble, was started by Scrabble Master Caesar of the Solar. Solar asked the association in a private Facebook group what NASPA, which is solely responsible for the rules and governance of the competitions. Scrabble, was following the Black Lives Matter protests in the United States and around the world.

“It’s not hard to unlearn 238 words (including inflections), none of which are high probability, and all of which have offensive meanings that are easy to remember. do already, to prevent the spreading or spreading of offensive words ”, the official NASPA bulletin told members, citing the reasons for removing offensive words.

Hasbro did not publish any insults or offensive words in their official post Scrabble dictionaries since 1994, according to New York Times. But the competitive wordlist, which has over 192,000, allowed words like “fellatio”, the n word, the f word and more. The complete list of the examined words are here, although the page has “rearranged” the words “to hide it from the casual reader.”

Even though NASPA is responsible for organizing the tournaments, a statement from Hasbro to the New York Times indicates that the changes will become coda. The company “will make it clear that insults are not allowed in any form of gambling,” said Hasbro spokeswoman Julie Duffy.

Hasbro’s support is not insignificant. While NASPA controls the authorized word list for tournaments, Hasbro is the one providing the lexicon that forms the basis of all versions of Scrabble. This means that the forbidden words could also be removed from digital versions of the game or from licensed games that exploit the Scrabble dictionary.

This is not the first time Hasbro has taken words out of the game. The Anti-Defamation League successfully pressured Hasbro to remove anti-Semitic terms from the official dictionary in the 1990s.

Following NASPA’s decision and Hasbro’s support, lyrics will no longer be playable in sanction Scrabble games from September 1, 2020.


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