Scrabble players can now play the word "OK," according to the latest update to the Scrabble dictionary released on Monday. Experts are saying they new addition could change how Scrabble is played and lead to entirely new strategies.
"OK" is now OK to play in a game of Scrabble.
The two-letter word is one of 300 new additions to the latest version of the Official Scrabble Players Dictionary, which Merriam-Webster released on Monday.
Other words that you can now play in a Scrabble game include macaron, facepalm, emoji, puggle, and ew.
But of all those words, it's the inclusion of "OK" that has some Scrabble players divided. The rules of Scrabble prohibit acronyms that are always spelled with capital letters, such as IQ or TV. That would seem to rule out OK, even though the word "ok" has long been included in the dictionary as a verb.
According to Merriam-Webster, however, it's becoming more and more common for people to spell OK using lowercase letters, warranting its inclusion in the dictionary.
"Although [OK] was born out of a facetious abbreviation for 'oll korrect,' it functions as a noun, verb, adjective, and adverb and is entered as such in dictionaries," Merriam-Webster associate editor Emily Brewster wrote in an email to Business Insider. The word has been around for a long time, but the two-letter spelling wasn't eligible for Scrabble play because it was always capitalised."
"The lowercase variant OK is now recognised as established, making OK a playable word where formerly only ok was accepted."
Not all Scrabble players are OK with OK, however, especially at the game's highest levels. Jackson Smylie, who ranks among the top 10 tournament Scrabble players in North America, said its inclusion could open the door "to a lot of other initialisms that are not very word-like."
"That being said, I am totally fine with the addition," he told Business Insider. "I strongly support descriptive dictionaries, which include words based on colloquial use rather than prescribed standards."
Judy Cole, a competitive player who also directs Scrabble tournaments, said OK was "certainly more common than a lot of the other words in the word list."
Regardless of its merits as a word, there's no question OK will change the way Scrabble is played from a strategic standpoint. After all, any expert player will tell you that two-letter words are the most important words in the entire game.
Before OK, there were no valid two-letter words ending with the letter K, meaning it could often be used defensively to block off certain sections of the board.
"Now players will have to think twice about placing a K right below a triple-word score," Ben Schoenbrun, another top-ranked player, told Business Insider.