Language is Alive

NPR’s interview with lexicographer Kory Stamper (who is also an associate editor at Merriam-Webster) is a must-listen for word nerds. Stamper delves into the idea that language is “a living thing,” which means that working on a dictionary is an ever-evolving and constantly growing entity. “A lot of times people assume that English as we speak it is something that was curated maybe by some …

Merriam-Webster Just Added 1000+ Words

Always an entertaining read, Merriam-Webster just announced the words and phrases it’s adding to the dictionary this month. Among them are “throwing shade,” “side eye” and even “ghost”—not the spook, but the act of abruptly cutting off contact with a person. There are also a few less-timely additions, including “first world problem,” “riding shotgun” and “weak sauce.” Whatever your feelings on these latest inclusions, there’s …

Changing the Definition of Femininity

Writer Ali Segel came across the Merriam-Webster definition for the word “femininity” and was (rightly) pretty appalled by it. When used in a sentence, the dictionary stated, “She managed to become a CEO without sacrificing her femininity.” Segel—not only amazed at how subtle sexism continues to go unnoticed, or ignored—reached out to Merriam-Webster. They tweeted, “AND IT’S GONE. Oof. Sorry about that.” Showing that admitting …