Scrabble bans EVOLUTION

I’ve always been a huge Scrabble fanatic. I enjoy the strategy involved in coming up with scrabble-worthy words and then finding the perfect place to put them to gain the max number of points. And I love the fact that your word doesn’t even need to be lengthy – as long as you put it in the right spot. But I’ll admit that I get a high when I get a BINGO or better yet, get a BINGO using other tiles already on the board. It sounds so nerdy, but I’m sure anyone who plays this game knows what I’m talking about.

When I got my iPhone earlier this year, I downloaded the Scrabble App. My best word so far is ALIENAGE (131 points). I rarely get a BINGO with more than 7 letters, but these were one of those times. Which is why I was totally confused when I tried to create the word EVOLUTION a few weeks ago and couldn’t. I was trying to build off another word and had enough space to do it, so I didn’t know why it wasn’t letting me submit it. To make sure I was spelling it correctly, I even went to the Scrabble page on Hasbro’s site and entered it there. Turns out, it doesn’t appear in their dictionary.

scrabble dictionary online

I really thought I had misspelled it. I mean I’m not dumb, but I couldn’t figure out why it wasn’t in their dictionary. What Official Scrabble Player doesn’t know the word EVOLUTION? So I cut and pasted the word from their site into Google just to make sure I wasn’t going crazy. I wasn’t. Then I started Googling phrases like “no evolution in scrabble” and “scrabble bans evolution.” I began to think that maybe Scrabble was conceived  by Christians who didn’t believe in evolution and so it was banned from their dictionary. (Just a conspiracy theory? Maybe.). Nothing came up. Then I tried to see if I could contact Scrabble directly, and in my search I found that the NSA (National Scrabble Association) existed. I laughed at first that there even was an organization, but then figured if anyone would know, they would. So I called them and explained my dilemma. Their answer to me was that perhaps the Scrabble app wouldn’t allow the word because it was longer than 7 characters. They suggested I try contacting EA, who created the app. However, it still didn’t explain why the word didn’t appear in the online dictionary on Hasbro’s site. Not to mention the fact that ALIENAGE is 9 letters and that was valid in the app. They didn’t have an answer for either, so I said thanks and hung up.

Not wanting to totally disregard what the NSA had said,  I went back to Hasbro’s Scrabble page and typed in ALIENAGE to see if this 9-letter word showed up. It did.

scrabble dictionary online

I even typed in a bunch of other 7+ letter words, like ORGANIZE and CUSTOMER,  to make sure I again wasn’t going nuts. I wasn’t. But then I typed in some other words like CONSCIOUS and RECOMMEND, and those did not show up. I was completely dumbfounded. I know I didn’t spell them wrong. Are these words not part of the English language?

My conclusion is that I have none. I could conceivably explain why EVOLUTION was omitted. But the other words? I have no clue. If anyone out there does – please let me know!

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