I also think GEOCACHE was a weak choice for the contest because the nouns GEOCACHING and GEOCACHERS were already slated to join the Scrabble list this summer (they were added to in 2012).
But I’m willing to extend a hand to the verb GEOCACHE, along with its -CACHES, -CACHED, and -CACHING forms, and invite geocachers to use their GPS devices to find a Scrabble tournament.
Scrabble has a formal process for updating its lexicon: adding words found in the standard college dictionaries that the game uses as lexical source books.
None of the 16 words in the contest met that criterion.
On the bus we picked up a few more people and stopped at services where we had a Starbucks (just touring all the coffee shops today!
) before we did the 2.5 hour drive to the Harry Potter Studios. The driver played Harry Potter and the Philosopher Stone on the TV, I had a Harry Potter colouring book and we played Harry Potter trivial pursuit. ) We eventually arrived at about and our driver gave us our ticket.
“We’ve been so punked,” expert-level player Chris Lipe wrote on the Facebook page of the North American Scrabble Players Association, or NASPA, a player-run group licensed by Hasbro that oversees Scrabble clubs and tournaments.
Many serious Scrabble players opposed the contest from the start.
We had a coffee to warm us up and it wasn’t long before the bus arrived!
And once they did, many—including me—rooted for a word that actually would make a difference in how the game is played. According to NASPA co-president John Chew, the probability of drawing GEOCACHE from a full bag of 100 tiles (98 letters and two blanks) is about 1 in 563,033.
“This places it between LITTLEST and STATUTES (1/562,961) and IODOFORM/IODOPHOR/OILPROOF/OOSPORIC (1/563,275) in the 76th percentile of eight-letter words,” Chew wrote.
Despite its limited utility in Scrabble, GEOCACHE is a worthy word, with citations dating to 2000 and a robust subculture with undeniable social media pull.
And maybe that’s what really stings about geocaching’s ballot-box-stuffing win.