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“Ultra” Is a Word, but “Lynch” is Not? The New York Times Has Already Ruined Wordle

With all the other bad things they have done over the past years, this is not nearly as significant, but it is telling. You know the Wordle game, very popular; and the NYT bought it from the originators, so now it is on their site. It is only a matter of time before they seek to make money of it, by putting it behind some kind of paywall.

But they haven’t yet, so I have kept playing. The other day, for the first time, I used a word that it rejected as a guess, because it was not on their list. MULER, which I had seen in adventure books as a boy, it is someone who drives or owns mules. That is not a common word, so no big deal, but it still was irritating. But today, something much more upsetting.

I tried the word LYNCH, which is useful for using five letters which I have not tried yet. But the site said that the word was not in their list. And why is that? The only possible reason is that they have created an algorithm which takes out all the words whose connotations they do not like. Which by itself is appalling, on more than one level.

It is a word game, the connotations of the words are irrelevant. I don’t use the word in a word game because I approve of the meaning, I am trying to guess letters, and need to think of words which provide many untried letters But NYT has decided that the word offends people, and so they don’t count it as a word? This from the publication which was famed for its crossword puzzles and other word games? They are bowdlerizing the language now?

I got the Wordle answer, but it was made more difficult because of it. Maybe NYT should tell us all the words they have expurgated from their dictionary. There are all sorts of words which taken in a certain context, might offend, or even be vulgar. Is this going to be like it is for broadcasters now, where you have to think very carefully before you say anything, because it might be on a proscribed list, or offend someone? That is one thing, this is just a word game.

I rarely use vulgarities, and I am well aware of connotations. But apparently the New York Times doesn’t want anyone to use the word “lynch” in any form of conversation or writing. If that is not what they are implying, then why is the word not in their word list to be used as a guess? What other words are not there? Chink? (there was a story a few decades ago, about a student having a paper not accepted by the teacher, because he or she used the term “a chink in their armor.”) Screw? Punch? Breast? Who knows? Censorship casts a wide net, and one never knows what is going to be allowed or not.

This may sound like a trivial thing, and it is, in one sense. But it seems like another shadow betokening the rise of restrictions, prohibitions, and even punishments, for saying or writing or thinking what “1984” might have called “word crimes.”

I play Wordle once a day, it is a fun and challenging game. Can’t people be left alone to play it, without the NYT imposing its stupid word rules on them, which are apparently that any word that they don’t like the meaning or usage of, is not an acceptable word?

Meanwhile, of course, the NYT hid facts about Trump destroying classified and top secret documents, after making “Hillary’s emails” the red herring of the century. Their value system is warped. They don’t know better than everybody else, certainly not about what words should be in the dictionary.

Oh, and the Wordle word of yesterday, “ultra,” is not a stand-alone word to me, and I almost did not guess it, because I thought it was not a word, though some do think it is. It was considered a word by NYT, that is fine, but “lynch” is scrubbed from their word game dictionary, because…they can do it?

Why don’t you write some more about Hillary’s emails, you sanctimonious disgraces to journalism. They hid the Nazi atrocities, too, but that is in a book about another era not so long ago. The book is “Buried By the Times.” I received it as a gift, but the story was too depressing for me to want to read. This little story about the Wordle game seems to me to be just another, infinitely less important, but not to be ignored, example of powerful entities which seek to control the dissemination of facts, and freedom of expression.