Wordle, You Break My Heart

The Wordle for Friday, February 4, 2022

Dear Wordle,

You remind me of a guy I had a summer fling with in college. We had fun, but we knew it wouldn’t last. Two years older than I, he graduated at the end of that summer in 1972, five years before I met Ted. Off he went—back home to Canada with his broadcasting degree. I never heard from him again.

You’re not going to Canada like he did, but to the New York Times, and while the powers-that-be promise they will keep all the things we love about you, we know it’s not going to last.

Sure, you’re a quick challenge in the mornings. A fun way to connect with friends and family. But the thing we love most about you is how unencumbered you are.

One click and we’re there

We don’t have to cross any online corporate doormats to reach you. You don’t make us sign in, leave a user name, email address or password. You’re there for the taking on a lovely field of white—no ads, no pop-ups, no jingles. Why, that painful-sounding word interstitial doesn’t even exist in your leanly Hemingwayesque, 5-letter-word vocabulary. The world thanks you for that.

When we’re done, you’re thoughtful enough to leave a little gift for us to share with friends—but only if we want to.

You start our day with a happy ending—and not a single demand from you

While I value the New York Times and find that subscribing to its online edition is well worth the cost, I deplore the fact that it couldn’t keep its hands off you, that the dollar signs you conjured were simply too much to resist. We know, once we start toying with you on the Times’ turf, it will expect something more from us.

It will expect more from you, too.

Now part of a ‘portfolio’

Says Jonathan Knight, general manager for The New York Times Games, “As part of our portfolio of games, Wordle will have an exciting future with the help of a team of talented engineers, designers, editors and more, furthering the user experience.”

Furthering the user experience. Translation: They’re going to gussy you up, Wordle. They’re overlooking the fact that we love you precisely because you are so un-gussied. You’re sleek and beautiful just the way you are.

So for now, until the Times takes possession of you, let’s keep having fun together … knowing, like my college boyfriend and I, that the sweetest experiences in life are often the briefest.

Warmest regards,

A friendle

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