Standing up for Banned Words

In library circles and the greater book reading industry there is a strong anti-censorship understanding that sees readers, authors, publishers, librarians and many others defending the right to read books that push boundaries with which different members of society may find issue.

Lobby groups, mostly in the US, highlight the books that teachers, librarians and other educators are called upon to defend due to parental and community concern. I think this is a great practice but what I haven’t seen is a banned words lobby.

That’s correct. Banned Words. For I am a word game fiend from a young age.

I love my crosswords, Scrabbles, Scrambles, find-a-words. I’ll do them in print, digital, and board game form. It is such an obsession that my 10 year old strategises Scrabble games and consistently scores over 250 in pursuit of beating me. My mother-in-law was always very nice to me but it wasn’t until I beat her in a game of Scrabble that I felt I had earned her respect.

So it is with that in mind that I object to the online puritanical, cleaned up dictionaries that have cost me valuable points in word games.

I could have scored 45 for whores, slutty would have given me 17 and cunt would have been 26 (and the letter C is difficult enough to use without added restrictions), and why the hell (acceptable) is feck allowed but not fuck??

So all you banned book ralliers, lobbyists, defenders, I ask you to add your support to help instigate a true online dictionary that does not pander to just those individuals who don’t want to acknowledge that these are accepted words in English dictionaries. They are not slang, they are not colloquialisms. They are a part of the richness and versatility of the English language.

I am not advocating walking around and throwing about these words liberally and, although some might consider these words offensive, surely as adults we should be able to partake in word games and games companies should be able to provide us with the choice of opt in/opt out buttons to facilitate their use (or non-use).

So, from here on I will be tweeting every missed opportunity due to a banned word with the score it deprived me of, the game that I played, and the name of the gaming company. For example, Dear @Zynga, According to the Oxford English Dictionary fuck is an official word. I missed out on 22 points in Words With Friends #bannedwords

I ask everyone who reads this post to consider doing the same. Say “No!” to #bannedwords

3 thoughts on “Standing up for Banned Words

  1. Does Zynga use the official Scrabble dictionary? I always thought all the rude words were in there. They’re accepted in Scramble as far as I know.

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