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Geocache Becomes First Fan-Voted Word Playable In The Game Of SCRABBLE

It was a war of words, but in the end, geocache beat out 15 other nominated words in the SCRABBLE Word Showdown to become the winning word that will be included in the upcoming fifth edition of Merriam-Webster’s Official SCRABBLE Players Dictionary. This marks the dictionary’s first major update in nearly a decade and the first time the dictionary has ever included a word that was voted on by fans.

“SCRABBLE fans are passionate about the words they get to play in the game, so we were thrilled to get them involved in selecting a new word to be added to The Official SCRABBLE Players Dictionary,” said Jonathan Berkowitz, vice president of marketing at Hasbro. “We had a lot of fun following the showdown on Facebook and are looking forward to adding geocache as a legal, playable word.”

Nominated by fans following a national call-for-entries on the Hasbro Game Night Facebook page in March, geocache, a verb meaning to seek items by means of a GPS device as part of a game, faced 15 other popular choices in an online showdown from April 2-10, during which it bested runner-up word zen and a selection of other fan favorite words including bitcoin, cosplay and ew.

"English is an evolving language," explained Peter Sokolowski, Editor at Large at Merriam-Webster. "The fact is, words enter common usage before they enter the dictionary. We've been watching geocache for some time, and the fact that SCRABBLE lovers want to add it to the list of playable words strengthens the evidence that this is a word that people know and use. It's the perfect addition to the thousands of words that will be added when we release the new edition of The Official SCRABBLE Players Dictionary this summer."

While other words selected for addition to the upcoming fifth edition of The Official SCRABBLE Players Dictionary will not be officially playable until the new edition is published later this year, geocache will be an eligible word right in time for National SCRABBLE Day on April 13. The new word will also be playable in the upcoming National School SCRABBLE Championship in April and the National SCRABBLE Tournament in August.

Merriam-Webster's Official SCRABBLE Players Dictionary is the official dictionary for English-language SCRABBLE in the United States and Canada. The updated fifth edition will be available wherever books are sold in August 2014. The selected word will also be available to play later this year in the digital versions of SCRABBLE on Facebook, iPhone, iPad, and Android from Electronic Arts.

Coming this fall, the SCRABBLE brand will also introduce the new SCRABBLE Electronic Scoring game. The new game makes scoring easy and automatic with a handheld electronic scoring unit. Simply play a word on the board, dial-in the score and hit enter. No pen, paper or dedicated scorekeeper required! The SCRABBLE electronic scoring unit also includes a timer option for faster gameplay.

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