Tiny words are huge gift to Scrabble players
To Scrabble fanatics, big gifts sometimes come in small packages.
The word "te" as a variant of "ti," is the seventh tone on the musical scale. It is a little gem among 5,000 words to be added to "The Official Scrabble Players Dictionary" next week.
The dictionary's last freshening up was a decade ago. New entries include texter, vlog, bromance, hashtag, dubstep and selfie.
But it's the addition of te and three other two-letter words da, gi and po that has Robin Pollock Daniel excited. Daniel is a champion of the North American Scrabble Players Association. It has a committee that helps Merriam-Webster track down new, playable words of two to eight letters.
"Being able to hook an 'e' underneath 't' means that I can play far more words," explained Daniel, who practices Scrabble two to four hours a day. The more two-letter words we have, the more possibilities a word will fit."
The new words add about 40 pages to the Scrabble-sanctioned dictionary, which lists more than 100,000 playable words.
To be included in the 36-year-old book, a word must be found in a standard dictionary. It can't require capitalization, can't have hyphens or apostrophes and can't be an abbreviation. Of course, they must be two to eight letters.
Merriam-Webster didn't identify all 5,000 new words but released a list of about 30 that include:
Beatbox, buzzkill, chillax, coqui, frenemy, funplex, jockdom, joypad, mixtape, mojito, ponzu, qigong, schmutz, sudoku and yuzu. Geocache was also added, voted into the dictionary by the public during a Facebook contest in May.
Critical thinking challenge: Why do foreign language versions of Scrabble assign different point values to letters than the U.S. version?