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Scrabble turns to the public for suggestions

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If March has a theme, surely it’s the quest to stay relevant. First the SATs, and now Scrabble. (“Relevance” is to “profits” as what is to what?) In an attempt to keep up with the new words spawned by technology and pop culture — “selfie” and “hashtag” among them — Rhode Island-based Hasbro, along with Merriam-Webster, have announced that for the first time in nine years they’re updating “The Official Scrabble Players Dictionary.” Their brain trust apparently has thousands of words already planned, but they’ve also reserved a spot in the dictionary for a single word to be nominated and chosen by fans (and disputed by family members). The first round of the “Scrabble Word Showdown” runs through March 28, on the Hasbro Game Night Facebook page. On April 2, Scrabble and Merriam-Webster will unveil 16 finalists, and those lucky words will move onto a March Madness bracket-style competition. Asked if “Belieber” or “kollection,” from the “Kardashian Kollection” line of products, would be considered, a Hasbro spokeswoman reminded a reporter that proper nouns are not allowed.

Beth Teitell can be reached at bteitell@globe.com. Follow her on Twitter @bethteitell.
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