New Scrabble dictionary picks up the language of the millennials
scrabble letters spelling keep it real on white background
Hasbro Inc.'s Scrabble logo is displayed on the cover of a game box at a Target Corp. store in Rosemont, Illinois, U.S., on Thursday, Oct. 13, 2011. The U.S. Census Bureau is scheduled to release retail sales data on Oct. 14. Photographer: Tim Boyle/Bloomberg via Getty Images
(HR) Fifth grader Christian Smith, 11, middle plays a rousing game of scrabble with brothers Zack, 16, left and Caleb, 8 right. Christian is the third member of his family to win the Colorado State spelling bee. Christian outlasted a field of 33 elementary and middle school finalists at the Colorado Convention Center to win the 69th annual event. He won by spelling the word 'lucigen' correctly. He now gets to go to the Scripps National Spelling Bee in Washington, D.C. May 25th -29th. (Lucigen is a lamp or torch giving bright light by burning a spray of oil mixed with hot air.) Helen H. Richardson/The Denver Post (Photo By Helen H. Richardson/The Denver Post via Getty Images)
BY KAREN BROOKS
(Reuters) - Young players of the classic word game Scrabble, perhaps disenfranchised by its decade-old lexicon, can "chillax" now that this multi-generational favorite is being updated to speak the language of the millennials.
The fifth edition of the Official Scrabble Players Dictionary, published by Merriam-Webster, goes on sale Wednesday and includes 5,000 new words that editors say will help the 66-year-old game stay relevant.
Some older players and Scrabble purists might find the inclusion of words like "bromance" and "selfie" to be a "buzzkill" because some of the additions seem so fresh.
But most of the additions are likely to be long-studied and time-tested, with obvious staying power, said Grant Barrett, a San Diego dictionary editor and co-host of the nationwide public radio show "A Way with Words."
"The list is, to me, a great step forward," Barrett said. "I think you've got to add the new words. Otherwise you risk this turning into an archaic game that nobody wants to play because the daily language isn't accepted there. It's got to keep up."
The publishing house this week released a sample of the new words, which add 30 pages to the dictionary last updated 10 years ago.
In addition to "bromance," "chillax," "selfie" and "buzzkill," the list includes terms like "hashtag," commonly used with Twitter; "dubstep," an electronic dance music that has gained popularity in the past few years; "texter," referring to one who texts; and "meh," an expression of ambivalence used on social media and in text messaging.
New additions such as "webzine" and "frenemy" and "funplex" have been around a decade or two and may feel a little closer to Gen X terminology. The same goes for "mixtape" and "beatbox," also in the new book, which took their places firmly in the American vernacular by the end of the 1980s but have stayed current in spite of changes in technology and pop culture.
"It's not just the words that get into society," said Chris Cree, co-President of the North American Scrabble Players Association in Dallas, which oversaw the update. "They are also words that have the potential of sticking around."