Saturday, January 11, 2014

History of Scrabble Books Source Used for Adjudication

I have listed most of the Scrabble reference books used in the past till the present and come up with this compilation. I am not sure about the dates but I googled some books to check its publication date. Nevertheless, this blog aims to provide insights as to when and how the changes in lexicons transpired for the past years.

Let me start with the OSPD's and TWL's for North America which were also the reference used by Israel and Thailand.

1. Official Scrabble Player's Dictionary (OSPD 1978 Edition)
The first edition of OSPD was compiled based on the following dictionaries:
-Merriams Webster Collegiate Dictionary, 8th Edition (1973)
-Funk & Wagnall of the English Language (1973)
-The American Heritage Dictionary of the English Language,  (1969)
-Webster's New World Dictionary, 2nd Edition (1970)
-The Random House College Dictionary (1968)

The length of the root words were 2-8 letters, but showing inflection of nouns, adjective, verbs, etc, in the definition.
This has been used in Canada & U.S. from September 1, 1978 to September 30, 1991.



2. OSPD2
The 2nd Edition was published in 1991, and this has become a comprehensive solution to Scrabble play and deemed the official reference for club and tournament play starting October 1, 1991 to February 28, 1998.

The words removed in OSPD1 from OSPD2 were: AINE AINEE ALIYAHS AUTARKIK BABBOOL BABBOOLS BORAZON BORAZONS DIALOGGED DIALOGGING DUC DUCS ECOLE ECOLES ENFIN INVAR INVARS IODOL IODOLS MISENROLL MISENROLLS NEGRO NEGROES NOIR ONCES PAPULAN PERE PERES PHYTIN PHYTINS SITI SLIVOVICS STETSON STETSONS SULFONAL SULFONALS SURVEILED SURVEILING THERMIT THERMITS UIT WAEFU WITEN WOSTTETH WOTTETH XANTHATE XANTHATES. There were also corrections made in the early printing of OSPD2 which can be found here.

In between that period, the 3rd edition was created in October 1995 and bowdlerized words with offensive terms.


3. OSPD3
The 3rd edition which was published in October 1995 met with controversies and 167 offensive words (also the Expurgated Words) were deleted.

Players threatened to boycott tournaments, and so NSA sought a compromise. There would be two Scrabble books: The Official Players Dictionary used primarily for recreational and school play, and the New Official Tournament and Club Word List (OTaCWL or OWL).

Thus, the Expurgated Words were allowed in competitive play as of February 1, 1996. Only SPAZES and HERPESES were removed. A list of additions was available. OSPD2 plus the new words in OSPD3 commonly is called OSPD2+. There was a complete compilation of the 2-8 letter words here.


4. OWL/OTaCWL/TWL98
In 1998, the uncensored OWL, sometimes referred to as TWL98 was created solely for tournament and club play in North America starting March 1, 1998, and was only available to NSA members, to avoid any controversy. With the exclusion of definitions there was now room to expand leading to the addition of 9-letter words, topping the OSPD's 8-letter limit. Canada, Israel, and Thailand (among others) also used this word list for tournament plays.

There were 12 deletions in the two- to eight-letter range: DA DEI DES HANGULS KEV LEZES LICENTI SKIWEARS STRID VIN VINS VON, and 38 additions: BACKSTAB BASSETT BASSETTS BEDSIT BEDSITS CHEMO CHEMOS DECLAW DECLAWED DECLAWS FINALISE IGNORAMI ILLER ILLEST LATTE LATTES LEZZES LOUVRED MAGLEVS PETRALE PETRALES PINEALS PREMIXT PYROLIZE REDTAIL REDTAILS RHYTONS SEVRUGA SEVRUGAS SILKIES SMOOTHES TENIASES TRAPEZII UNSELL UNSELLS VOGUER VOGUERS WHINGING. As per NASPA, The word ANTEFIXAE was incorrectly omitted from the printed edition of OTaCWL.

5. Merriam-Webster's Collegiate Dictionary, 10th Edition (MW10)
As of June 2003, for words longer that 9-letters, Merriam-Webster's Collegiate Dictionary, 10th Edition (not appearing as inflections in TWL), was used until the advent of Official Long Words List.










6. OSPD4
The 4th edition was published in 2005 which includes more than 4000 additions to the OSPD3, however, it is still censored that led to the development of OWL2.

There were new 2-letter words added: FE, KI and ZA. The OI and QI were also introduced in OSPD4, but these were already common to OSW long time ago.

Some deleted words include ALNICOES, BIRDSHOTS, BUCKSHOTS, COULISES, EMF, EMFS, HAFIS, NUMINOUSES.

Errata in earlier printings and changes made between OSPD3 and OSPD4 (2-8 letter words length) can be viewed from here.




7. Merriam-Webster's Collegiate Dictionary, 11th Edition (MW11)
MW11, the successor to MW10 used as source to words longer than 9 letters for OWL2.












8. OWL2/OTaCWL2/TWL06
The 2nd edition of the Official Tournament and Club Word List which was published in 2006, corresponds to the OSPD4, and includes words not suitable for recreational or school use. This has also maximum length up to 9-letter words. With the inclusion of long words taken from MW11, it was referred to as the TWL06 and is the current official word source for North American starting March 1, 2006 up to the present.

There was an errata mentioned by NASPA for OWL2: Incorrectly omitted from OTCWL2: CRABAPPLE (p. 98), CRABAPPLES (p. 98), DEVELOPPES (p. 118), GODDAMNDEST (p. 186), MUNCHABLES (p. 279) and VIREONINES (p.485).
Incorrectly included in OTCWL2: CRABABBLE (p. 98), CRABABBLES (p. 98), GODAMNDEST (p. 186) and WEAPONEERED (p. 491).

The more accurate electronic file of TWL06 can be viewed and downloaded here.



Parallel to the OSPD for North America, the UK has Official Scrabble Words (OSW) which lists all the rules-acceptable words in the Chambers Dictionary whose uninflected roots have nine or fewer letters, and words of nine and fewer letter which are the inflections of longer words. Good example is AUDITORIA which appears in OSW while it doesn't show the singular AUDITORIUM (10 letter word).

1. OSW1
The 1st Edition of Official Scrabble Words was published on 1988 and has become the word reference of UK from January 1, 1989 to December 31, 1990.










2. CED88
For words longer than 9 letters, The Chambers English Dictionary, 1988 Edition (CED88) was used in conjuction with OSW1.











3. OSW2
The 2nd Edition of Official Scrabble Words was published on 1991 and has become the word reference of UK from January 1, 1991 to December 31, 1994. For words longer than 9 letters, CED88 was also used.











4. TCD93
For words longer than 9 letters, The Chambers Twentieth Century Dictionary, 1993 Edition (TCD93) was used in conjuction with the next edition, the OSW3.











5. OSW3
The 3rd Edition of Official Scrabble Words was published on 1994 and has become the word reference of UK from January 1, 1995 to December 31, 1999.










6. TCD98
For words longer than 9 letters, The Chambers Twentieth Century Dictionary, 1998 Edition (TCD98) was used in conjunction with the next edition, the OSW4.











7. OSW4
The 4th Edition of Official Scrabble Words was published on September 1999 and has become the word reference of UK from January 1, 2000 until the last transition period before switching to combined lexicon known as SOWPODS.

At the end of 2001, the UK completed a transition to SOWPODS, after which time OSW was replaced by OSW-I (OSW International), containing words up to 9 letters from either source, first published that year.




SOWPODS
What is SOWPODS? SOWPODS is the word list used in tournament Scrabble in most countries except the USA, Thailand and Canada. The term SOWPODS is derived from the anagram of the two acronyms OSPD and OSW, these being the original two official dictionaries used in various parts of the world at the time. Although the two source dictionaries have now changed their respective titles the term SOWPODS is still used by tournament players to refer to the combination of the two sources. There has not been any actual hard-copy list produced called SOWPODS.

However, sometime in 1998, Hinkler Book Distributors (Melbourne) published The Redwood Scrabble: International Edition Word List which was believed to be the combination of OSW3 and TWL98 at that time, using 2-9 letter words length, commonly used in Australian clubs. The amazing feature of this book was the indication of unique to OSPD and OSW which were marked as $ and £, respectively, at the end of the word. I remember, this book has been used for adjudication in the World Scrabble Championship 1999 which was held in Melbourne, Australia.
The first World Scrabble Championship took place in 1991 (see related story, here), and used both OSPD and OSW as the reference source which were currently published that year. For longer words, the Chambers Dictionary and Merriam-Webster's Collegiate Dictionary currently published that year as well, were also used in adjudication in case needed.

Since then every odd years,World Scrabble Championships used the SOWPODS lexicon.





Official Scrabble Words - International (OSW-I)
As of January 2003 all British clubs and tournaments officially use the OSW-I (OSW4+TWL98), or Official Scrabble Words- International, which is now equivalent to SOWPODS. In other words, the British and most of the Scrabble game-playing world use SOWPODS on a regular daily basis. However, North Americans, along with only a couple of other regions, continue to use a different word source.

Many people believe North Americans are now at a major disadvantage at International events, particularly at the World Scrabble Championship. Why? Because we have to study SOWPODS if we want to continue to do well in these tournaments, yet we have to "forget" or compartmentalize these +25,000 extra words in order to continue to do well at our own North American tournaments.

Scrabble players in Australia, Bahrain, Ghana, Hong Kong, India, Ireland, Japan, Kenya, Kuwait, Malaysia, Malta, New Zealand, Nigeria, Oman, Pakistan, Philippines, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Singapore, South Africa, Tanzania, Trinidad, United Arab Emirates, United Kingdom, and Zambia (and others) use the SOWPODS lexicon.



Collins English Dictionary - The Latest Change of Lexicons
1. CSW07
Mattel announced in December 2003 that henceforth Harper Collins would publish lexicons and other books that would fill the same role as OSW-I and related books do now, i.e., they will be official for Scrabble outside North America. The Collins English Dictionary will be the primary source for words (other than the current North American lexicon, which shall continue to supply the "International" in "OSW-I"), but by methods not yet clear, no more than about 150 words has to be deleted in the change. Collins will publish an OSPD-style dictionary with concise definitions for every base word.

One two-letter word, PH was deleted, and a new addition of word JA. In my earlier blog, I listed down the short words (2-4 letter words) changes from SOWPODS/OSW-I to CSW07 which can be found here.

Collins' new book, titled Collins Scrabble Tournament and Club Word List, was published March 2007. The UK switched as of May 15, 2007. Associations around the world (outside North America) switched around the same time.

Unlike the previous editions of either OSPD or OSW, the CSW07 contains two parts: the first part is 2-9 letter words length, and separate 10-15 letter words in the last part. Therefore, the word adjudication was made easy. This edition has total of 267,751 words

CSW07 has been used in the World Scrabble Championship 2007, 2009 & 2011.

2. CSW12
CSW12, the successor to CSW07 contains all 270,163 words valid for Scrabble including 2,809 new words . Words listed alphabetically, for easy checking . Essential for settling Scrabble squabbles and for adjudication, Collins Scrabble Words is endorsed by Mattel and the World English-Language Scrabble Players’ Association (WESPA) ‘Everyone with a Scrabble set should have this book.

3-4 letter words deletions were YOS*, FIFI*, FOHS*, OHOS* and WASM*. I found a link of 3-9 letter words that were added and deleted to CSW12 arranged by length in pdf file which can be downloaded from here.

CSW12 has been used in the Scrabble Champions Tournament 2013 (SCT 2013) which is equivalent to World Scrabble Championships.

This is the latest edition of Collins Scrabble Words used worldwide. Since there are many replicas of CSW's, be careful to check the book code: ISBN 978-0-00-742562-4. Ensure that the WESPA logo appears in the front cover of that book.


Conclusion
Looking back to the history of English Scrabble Word source, there have been great significant changes. As the years passed, the exclusion of controversial words became less controversial and an excepted standard. But that doesn't mean there aren't anymore battles to be fought. WESPA has created a Dictionary Committee to oversee the progress of the English lexicons. Nowadays, with the advent of computer programs like Lexpert, Zyzzyva, etc., the adjudication process in tournament play has been done without difficulty. So, what would happen to the upcoming books in the near future in this advance technology, will the players still prefer to buy new books, or get only copy for the changes (added/deleted), or just use their computer or mobile to check the words? In this case, players tend to painstakingly unlearn previously known words that have been deleted and at the same time, study and memorize new words especially short words, obscure words, bingos, etc. As per the NASPA website, there was an announcement that "the next edition of OWL3 in tandem with OSPD5 would be likely to be published in 2013, however, the tournament word list is not available to the public in electronic form; it can be purchased in print from NSA Word Gear. The electronic word list is available to authorized SCRABBLE developers." This would mean, another change of SOWPODS/CSW word list is in the offing. Meantime, I am  looking forward to the future edition that would include words like SELFIE, TWERKING, WISHLIST etc.

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