As regular Scrabble players know all too well already, the classic game suffers from a certain … outdatedness. The Oxford Dictionaries update every year. Merriam-Webster employs a team of people to track modern word usage. And yet, Scrabble’s official dictionary has made nary an addition since 2005 — meaning that, if someone challenges your all-too-legitimate play of neologisms like Bitcoin or selfie or quone, you are regrettably SOL.
But that could change! Wednesday, Hasbro — the toy company that makes Scrabble — launched a Facebook contest that will determine which words go in the next edition. Interested Scrabblers need only nominate their words of choice in the comments to the Facebook post before March 28; Hasbro will then select some to appear in the new dictionary, though they don’t specify how. There are only a few dozen so far.
It’s honestly kind of weird that Hasbro hasn’t updated its dictionary sooner: Aside from contradicting an industry-wide pursuit of the zeitgeist — just Tuesday Merriam-Webster added “bacony,” as in “smells like bacon” — it misses out on an obvious sales opportunity. Just look at iPhones or video game consoles! Hasbro could put out a new dictionary every year.
Of course, Scrabble allows you to make any household dictionary your tie-breaker of record, so flummoxed players could just as easily pick Oxford (which boasts buzzworthy, derp, twerk and emoji among its entries) or Collins (which includes phablet, fracker, olinguito and geek). Many of those words have already been suggested as Scrabble editions already — in addition to gems like nowish, woot, photobomb, lifehack, ew and zen.
Further proof that there’s no justice in the world.
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