New taboo -- Wordle removes 'insensitive' words
Wordle had only 90 players when it launched in November 2021 -- but is played daily by millions just three months later (AFP)

Some four-letter words are taboo, but the New York Times has added a few five-lettered ones to the list -- by removing them from the hit game Wordle.

The game, which consists of guessing one five-letter word a day in just six tries, was bought by the paper last month after it skyrocketed in popularity around the world.

Users began to complain earlier this week, when the game said two different words were the correct answer. One of Wordle's much-loved features is supposed to be that everyone tries to determine the same word.

After the Times bought the simple but captivating game from its creator Josh Wardle, internet sleuths noticed it had begun removing words from the list of possible solutions.

While the Times moved the game onto its website earlier in February, some users still have access to the older version, and the older list.

The website Boingboing.net reported that words such as "pussy," "whore," "slave" and "wench" had been removed, while more obscure terms "pupal" and "agora" had also been axed.

"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," said Times spokesman Jordan Cohen in a statement to AFP.

Wordle now has millions of users around the world, and versions have sprung up in many different languages. The Times said it bought the game for an "undisclosed price in the low seven figures," as it seeks to win new subscribers through non-news offerings.

© 2022 AFP