Commentary: 'This sounds very much like change for the sake of change'

BARBARA Bryson, who runs the U3A Edinburgh Scrabble Club, is not impressed at the new game Mattel was bringing out.

"This sounds horrendous. I'm absolutely flabbergasted, I had no idea it was coming.

"I don't think this sounds like progress. There are so many words in the Scrabble word list, thousands of them, I don't see why they need more."

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Mrs Bryson, 75, who has been a Scrabble aficionado for more than 30 years, said that fans had received no warning of the new game in their regular monthly newsletter.

"There was no mention of it in the last Scrabble News that was put out by Mattel in March and I'm sure I haven't missed it anywhere. They have their own newspaper giving details of things like competitions so they could have told us.

"It sounds very much like change for the sake of change. But I'm assuming competitions would go ahead as they are."

However, Mrs Bryson admitted the new game might appeal to some people.

"The younger generation might go for it, especially those who are more into celebrities than proper English. If they were using a celebrity's name such as Jordan the 'J' would at least give them a good score because it's eight points.

"As for the spelling of words backwards, I cannot understand why you would want to spell words backwards and upwards."

However, Mrs Bryson said this was not the first time that the Scrabble world had suffered a shock to the system.

"We had a great change when the Chambers Dictionary was ousted. They had the official Scrabble dictionary, but it was taken over by Collins and there were a number of changes."

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Mrs Bryson said she was not certain that Scrabble players, especially older ones, would welcome the changes.

"I'd be surprised if everyone just took it if the rules were to be changed altogether.

"When we had the business with Chambers and Collins and Collins decided to disallow some words and put in others there was outrage.

"The members of this club will be very surprised indeed at this news when we meet next week."