The New Scrabble

Today I see that Scrabble is changing its rules to include the use of proper nouns.  Noooooooooooo!  Say it ain’t so, Joe!  The stated reason?  To encourage young people to play the game.  The real reason?  Because the game “as is” is too hard and they’re desperately looking for a way to boost the appeal.  I feel like I need to sit down.  Admittedly I’m a purist when it comes to these things.  And, “Hello, my name is Teri, and I’m a Scrabble addict.”  For sure.  Rex and I own 3 boards — the plastic platform with fake-wood tiles; the ‘travel’ version with the little plastic clip-in letters (which is too unwieldy, frankly, to use); and the super-deluxe, rotating cherry-wood block with its ivory tiles and in-board drawers for storage.  On our vacation last summer, we played about 25 rounds in a week to determine “family champion.”  This, my friends, is the kind of Scrabble-crazy I’m talking about.

Today’s news about the addition of proper nouns makes me sad the same way the explosion of the iBook does (Sony Reader, iPad, call them all what you may).  Will people not read a real book or newspaper?  Is it really so hard, so cumbersome, to carry around an actual paper book?  Must we have new gadgets and new doodads and new rules for everything?

Next week I’m vacationing with friends in San Diego, and in the evenings — every evening — we will come back from a nice dinner, pour a glass of wine, and sit down at the Scrabble board to play until we’re too tired to think anymore.  Will we use this new rule?  Will you?

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