As of the afternoon, the confusing URL powerlanguage.co.uk/wordle, which once hosted the internet’s most popular daily word puzzle, now directs users to The New York Times website. There, we are greeted with a startlingly familiar webpage, but something seems slightly off until you realise that the headline “Wordle” has changed from the traditional Helvetica we have come to expect to feature The New York Times’ trademark typeface.
Only last week did The New York Times make the announcement that it will pay “low seven figures” for Josh Wardle’s viral smash. Yet the traditional publisher is already acting, with a URL redirect! Merely three hours ago, The New York Times referred to the old “power language” Address in a list of Wordle tips and tactics; perhaps those authors are as emotional as we are.
Despite the fact that there is now a hamburger menu in the top left corner that will take you to other New York Times games, the changes to the game are so minor that you might not even notice them at first. We were aware of this change’s impending arrival. Yet at TechCrunch, at least, we got used to that odd URL.
Powerlanguage.co.uk/wordle was so illogical and obviously not intended to go viral, which is why we loved it. Discoverability and Search engine optimization weren’t a big deal, yet they nonetheless took off. Although if you had heard of Wordle from your friend, you may Google it and be unsure of where to go—perhaps you’d believe it was an app and unintentionally download a fake—or you might be puzzled about whether the “power language” website is the right place to go.
How come power language? When we spoke with Wardle previous month, which must seem like a long time ago to the suddenly in-demand engineer, we thankfully asked him about the beginning of his internet presence.
Wardle told TechCrunch, “That’s just a username I’ve utilized online for a long period of time, which derives from mishearing someone. “In my childhood, I was being chastised along with my friends. We had been punished for calling each other names. I mistook his words for “power language.” In perspective, he was actually saying “foul language,” and I misheard him. Still, I was so amused by the concept of cursing being dubbed “power language” that I kind of ran with it in the way 16-year-olds do.
The bad news is that, although your gameplay statistics are maintained during the web transfer, some users are complaining that their daily streak is being reset (Mine was reset yesterday. But it’s back now, so hold onto hope!). That’s terrible, but perhaps this is an opportunity to let go of the need for perfection, give ourselves permission to guess a terrible word tomorrow, and just enjoy the beauty of language, how changing the order of a few letters can bring us so much joy that we share with our companions every day as a ritual. Or, feel free to tweet your anger over it.