Mattel, the makers of the popular word game ‘Scrabble’, today announced rule changes that allow players to include SMS and gangsta rap speak as playable words. A spokesman for the company said, ‘We all have to change with the times. Every day, millions of text abbreviations are sent, and these are creeping into the general parlance. Just because these phrases might not appear in a dictionary is no reason, in our view, for such ‘text speak’ to be excluded from the game.
‘We hold a similar view of gangsta rapping,’ he explained, ‘it is now accepted that some young people employ some fairly colourful terms to describe their impending acts of violence against each other. For that reason we are happy to include such words and phrases in our sponsored competitions. Our hope is that we will rejuvenate an established brand.’
However, reaction to the rule changes did not go down well in ‘The Sunny Glades Retirement Home’ in Ventnor on the Isle of Wight. Frank Gregory, captain of the scrabble team, explained some consequences of the changed rules, ‘It has placed an unnecessary burden on those of us who, until now, have abided by the rules of scrabble. Until today, a dictionary was all that was required to determine the acceptability of a word. We now have to listen to entire back catalogues of groups such as ‘NWA’ and ‘Blame Ya Dead Homie’. Don’t get me wrong, there are some songs that mirror our lives- these young American rappers clearly take almost as much medication as we do, and we also have our own drive by services bringing us hot food. However, the way that they treat their pet dogs, especially the female ones, is not something we approve of. Also, now that text speak is permitted, it is difficult for there to be a distinction between a genuine attempt at the game and a cry for assistance from the nursing staff, especially with words such as ‘PMSL’.