The Schmooze

Why Can’t You Play ‘Jew’ in Words With Friends?

An Open Letter

To: Mark Pincus, founder and CEO of Zynga
From: Hinda Mandell, Words with Friends user

Dear Mr. Pincus,

I have a gripe: Don’t worry — it has nothing to do with Farmville.

I’m writing because, when I play the smartphone app Words with Friends, I feel bad about myself — and not just because, when my pal plays “INCEPTS,” I hit back with “THE.” (Never mind that I’ve also had to visit dictionary.com to look up the definition of words like “INCEPTS,” despite having a Ph.D.)

No, I feel bad about myself because, when I attempt to play J-E-W in Words with Friends, a box pops up on my iPhone screen to inform me, “Sorry, jew is not an acceptable word.” I have to hit the “OK” button — indicating consent — in order to continue playing.

Not cool, Pincus. Not cool.

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Why Can’t You Play ‘Jew’ in Words With Friends?

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