This past week every corner of the media rang with the sound of linguistic word dorks hewing and crying over the complete decimation of their beloved wood tiled fetish. Mattel the company that makes Scrabble announced via PR flack, that the “new” version of Scrabble in Europe would allow proper nouns. Now if you play Scrabble, then you know that this is an abomination. Though the idea that I could use Kyrgyzstan in word combat was pretty enticing, it just ain’t Scrabble.
But rest assured the whole thing is just a big misunderstanding!
…the purists’ fears are overblown. Mattel, which has international rights to the game (Hasbro controls it in the U.S.) plans a new version called Scrabble Trickster, with all sorts of gimmicks. Philip Nelkon, promotions manager of Mattel, told the Washington Post that there will be squares on the board calling on players to draw cards. The cards might instruct you to forfeit a letter to an opponent — or permit you to spell a proper noun.
So how does something this huge and dumb get missed by reporters, producers, pundits and basically everyone else in the media? Tough to say exactly. It is a classic feedback loop and like roaches and rats, its hard to get rid of them. Pushed for time, low on resources and lazy, the whole media structure just picked it up and ran.
Oh, and since we’re here, Iraq had no weapons of mass destruction and OJ killed those people.