Merriam-Webster Dictionary redefines The Word “They” ?
Merriam-Webster has added a fourth definition of the word “they” to include “nonbinary” usage of individuals with varying degrees of gender disorientation. Why does this matter? Because words matter.
Merriam-Webster publishes the modern version of the first American dictionary, compiled by Noah Webster. According to Wikipedia, “In 1806, Webster published his first dictionary, A Compendious Dictionary of the English Language. In 1807 Webster started two decades of intensive work to expand his publication into a fully comprehensive dictionary, An American Dictionary of the English Language. To help him trace the etymology of words, Webster learned 26 languages. Webster hoped to standardize American speech, since Americans in different parts of the country used somewhat different vocabularies and spelled, pronounced, and used words differently.”
We note that history so as to emphasize Webster’s hope “to standardize American speech.” His purpose was to unify Americans around common spelling and definitions of words, as well as our understanding of language itself.
The iconoclasts of today’s Left want the opposite — to divide Americans by destroying the meaning of words, along with tearing down statues and renaming buildings. And then they wonder why Americans are so divided. Perhaps it’s because some of us still know what words mean and prefer to stick to age-old definitions, even when we’re labeled “bigots” by the wokescolds who live in an alternate reality.
It’s “newspeak” in all its, er, glory. What is newspeak? Coined by George Orwell in his novel 1984, no less than Merriam-Webster defines it thus: “Newspeak was characterized by the elimination or alteration of certain words, the substitution of one word for another, the interchangeability of parts of speech, and the creation of words for political purposes.” That pretty much sums up what Merriam-Webster has succumbed to.