April 7, 2010

Scrabble announces new "dumfuck edition"


A major world-changing event rocked the literary world over the weekend. The iPad? Are you kidding? They changed the rules of Scrabble!

Proper nouns are now allowed, according to a BBC News wire report: The Mattel company announced “Place names, people’s names and company names or brands will now count.” It’s the first rule change in the history of the game since its invention in 1938.

Why, you ask yourself? Why, why, why? “Mattel, which brings out a new version of the game containing amended rules in July, hopes the change will encourage younger people to play.” They’re being wishy washy about it, though: “Mattel said there would be no hard and fast rule over whether a proper noun was correct or not.”

But back to why, why, why? “A spokeswoman for the company said the use of proper nouns would ‘add a new dimension’ to Scrabble and ‘introduce an element of popular culture into the game’.” The spokesperson also indicated there will be other rule changes in the new edition. But the company “will continue to sell a board with the original rules” for what it no doubt considers hard asses, a two word phrase which may or may not be eligible under the new rules.

Two other words: New Coke.

Dennis Johnson is the founder of MobyLives, and the co-founder and co-publisher of Melville House. Follow him on Twitter at @mobylives