Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Even Ben Zimmer is upset

The biggest news in the world of words today: The Scrabulous application on Facebook has been disabled in the US and Canada.

There go all my bingos and my .660 record.

Damn you Hasbro. What are you thinking. Scrabulous posed no risk to your precious little realm. In fact this was probably going to help you:

  1. People get into the game online.
  2. The game is no longer associated with Saturday night at Grandma's.
  3. Online play spills offline.
  4. College kids go to the store to buy the game and what do they find? Scrabble.
  5. You get the sale.

As evidence, I recently started a game with a friend and she wrote back:
I'm so there, it's insane! But why do I have the feeling that the linguist is going to kill me at scrabble?

Did you catch that Hasbro? It's still scrabble to her!

Puerto Ricans have a great exclamation for these situations. Ave Maria purisima!

And FWIW I would not have certainly beaten my friend at the game. She's a medievalist and plenty good at coming up with strange little words.


  1. My condolences. I wonder what will happen to international internet Scrabble now? Mattel has made a Scrabulous wannabe (I wrote a scathing review of it on Facebook, as if it matters) now in Beta--soon to force Scrabulous out, I'm sure. But since Hasbro owns the copyright in N America, does this mean that the Mattel version isn't playable there either? How am I going to go about trouncing US-inhabitants, with their puny, parochial Scrabble dictionary? Harumph.

  2. I just played Scrabble two nights ago with Gretchen for the first time in two or three years -- and I'm sure it was because of Facebook's wordgames.


  3. Now it's world-wide, I guess. No more Scrabulous in the UK.


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