‘Slave’ is not a word anymore for NYT’s hit puzzle game — Analysis
The New York Times removed certain articles “obscure” “insensitive”Wordle purchased Wordle last month and used words from its pool. Players had pointed out the deletion of words in the pool, and the newspaper agreed to the censorship. Critics say the absence of ‘slave’ from the new vocabulary is particularly baffling.
Some of the examples that players discovered, as reported last week by group blog website BoingBoing, are simply profane to some degree, like the word ‘wench’, as well as a certain euphemism for female genitalia. Others came from less well-known parts of the English dictionary, like ‘agora’, the Greek word for a place of public meetings.
“We are updating the word list over time to remove obscure words to keep the puzzle accessible to more people, as well as insensitive or offensive words,”A spokesperson for the New York Times said so this week. The explanation apparently conflicts with the newspaper’s earlier assurances that under the new ownership, “nothing has changed about the game play.”
NYT seems to be trying to keep itself safe from mobs online for any words that they might find offensive. Many racial slurs were cut out of the word pool, as were the words ‘lynch’ and ‘slave’.
Many social media users feel the newspaper has gone too far and are calling for the change. “baffling,”While others believeIt is ruining your game.
Baffling that the NY Times has banned people from guessing words like “slave” on Wordle in case it causes offence (to who?) It’s fine to not have the answer, if necessary, but it is unjust to erase it from Wordle as valid. I’ll stick to the Ancient Greek Wordle
— Patrick Kidd (@patrick_kidd) February 16, 2022
Others say it’s typicalThe New York Times will police language used to address racism issues.
Scenes from our twee cyberpunk future: the New York Times has bought Wordle and is censoring words it thinks you’re too delicate to handle being able to use as guesses. pic.twitter.com/UdC3FsAjNq
— Stephen Bush (@stephenkb) February 15, 2022
Wordle is a game that gives you six attempts to guess a five-letter word once a day – the same for every player. It provides clues with each attempt, showing you whether or not you used the right letters. It is possible to share this process (represented by yellow boxes and green lines) without divulging the solution.
In the last few months, the popularity of this free puzzle game has exploded with many millions of people joining up around the world. The New York Times bought Wordle in January for an undisclosed $70-figure sum.
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