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73-36 185 Street
Flushing, NY 11366-1717
(718) 454-1049

April 5, 1995

National Scrabble Association
Box 700
Greenport, NY 111944

Dear NSA:

I have delayed too long my response to your survey on "SOWPODS", perhaps because of the extensive discussion on the Internet mailing list dedicated to the game. (By contrast, the survey was preceded by zero discussion, which I think makes its outcome rather less useful.) Rather than delay further, I'll simply tell you my opinion without extensive argument.

I would rather that OSPD be kept as the lexicon for North American play. I believe that, while unification with the lexicon used in the UK would eliminate the jarring transition felt by those who compete in, or study to compete in, the World (English Language) Scrabble Championship, and would allow traveling competitive players to compete abroad, these two groups are so small relative to those who use OSPD as their dictionary, that using their interests to justify changing the Scrabble lives of thousands is completely unjustified.

The Chambers Dictionary is not similar enough to OSPD to be considered for inclusion. We do not use an unabridged dictionary, but an especially complete college one, while TCD is far closer to an unabridged. Many words are included there solely to ease reading Shakespeare or Spenser.

Thanks for asking, but before considering it, I think you should publish articulate advocacy on both sides and then another survey. Asking club directors to survey their attendees would also be good, since many people don't write. I know; I almost didn't get around to this.

Steven Alexander