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Wordsmiths will weep when they see Webster's Word of the Year
Posted by: RgrF
Date: January 12, 2020 06:55AM
Our Word of the Year for 2019 is they.

It reflects a surprising fact: even a basic term, among the most common in the language—a personal pronoun—can rise to the top of our data. Although our lookups are often driven by events in the news, the dictionary is also a primary resource for information about language itself, and the shifting use of they has been the subject of increasing study and commentary in recent years, and especially in the past year. Lookups for they increased by 313% in 2019 over the previous year. This curiosity is remarkable for a venerable old pronoun, but this is a special case, and a consequence of shifts in the way they is used.

Not hard to see why it's an online dictionary few pay attention to any longer.

Let's begin a nominating process for the Merriam Webster 2020 Word of the Year, I'll start with:

Them - describing any group of people you rather not point out by name.



Should there be an outpouring of nominations, we can forward the best or more outrageous to the M/W committee for consideration, even our worst might prove to be better than their best

From the grave, Sister Paintsticks came back to reminded me: It's an 'a' before a consonant and an 'an' or 'and' or some such before a vowel. She failed to address my thumble approach to keyboards or that I now have a headache.



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 01/12/2020 09:10AM by RgrF.
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Re: Wordsmiths will weep when they see Webster's Word of the Year
Posted by: sekker
Date: January 12, 2020 07:09AM
This is good news as it reflects gender pronoun evolution.
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Re: Wordsmiths will weep when they see Webster's Word of the Year
Posted by: RgrF
Date: January 12, 2020 07:26AM
Maybe so but I suspect those who might be influenced by such nuance probably aren't heavy into dictionary/thesaurus use to begin with.
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Re: Wordsmiths will weep when they see Webster's Word of the Year
Posted by: wurm
Date: January 12, 2020 07:38AM
Sister Mary is rolling over in her grave.
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Re: Wordsmiths will weep when they see Webster's Word of the Year
Posted by: RgrF
Date: January 12, 2020 07:48AM
Quote
wurm
Sister Mary is rolling over in her grave.

Undoubtedly she'd be doing that roll-over using the Palmer Method of cursive writing, a writing style many out there could not decipher these days.
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Re: Wordsmiths will weep when they see Webster's Word of the Year
Posted by: Acer
Date: January 12, 2020 08:07AM
2017 or so, the Chicago Manual Style and the Associated Press (AP) style book both announced that they accept they/them/their as an example of a singular and/or gender-neutral pronoun.

I for one am happy to avoid the “he or she” clunky construct. “They” etc as a pronoun for a case where gender is not known or relevant has been popular in casual use for years.
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Re: Wordsmiths will weep when they see Webster's Word of the Year
Posted by: Bernie
Date: January 12, 2020 08:34AM
Quote
RgrF
Maybe so but I suspect those who might be influenced by such nuance probably aren't heavy into dictionary/thesaurus use to begin with.

agree smiley




Staunton, Virginia
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Re: Wordsmiths will weep when they see Webster's Word of the Year
Posted by: SDGuy
Date: January 12, 2020 08:58AM
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Re: Wordsmiths will weep when they see Webster's Word of the Year
Posted by: Yoyodyne ArtWorks
Date: January 12, 2020 08:59AM
I could care less, irregardless...



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Re: Wordsmiths will weep when they see Webster's Word of the Year
Posted by: Kraniac
Date: January 12, 2020 09:05AM
Quote
Yoyodyne ArtWorks
I could care less, irregardless...

Should be:

I could care less, irregardless..also, too.
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Re: Wordsmiths will weep when they see Webster's Word of the Year
Posted by: Bernie
Date: January 12, 2020 09:51AM
Any single person that wishes to be called they is Schizoid

How Is Schizoid Personality Disorder Treated?

People with this personality disorder rarely seek treatment, because their thoughts and behavior generally do not cause them distress. When treatment is sought, psychotherapy -- a form of counseling -- is the form of treatment most often used. Treatment likely will focus on increasing general coping skills, as well as on improving social interaction, communication, and self-esteem. Because trust is an important component of therapy, treatment can be challenging for the therapist, because people with schizoid personality disorder have difficulty forming relationships with others. Social skills training also can be an important component of treatment.


Definition of multiple personality disorder
: a disorder that is characterized by the presence of two or more distinct and complex identities or personality states each of which becomes dominant and controls behavior from time to time to the exclusion of the others and results from disruption in the integrated functions of consciousness, memory, and identity
— called also multiple personality, dissociative identity disorder

They Them are Nuts






Staunton, Virginia
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Re: Wordsmiths will weep when they see Webster's Word of the Year
Posted by: Blankity Blank
Date: January 12, 2020 10:50AM
True wordsmiths are not hidebound by the past. They may have preferences and opinions on any given change or evolution in the language, but the fascination and curiosity with the truly organic nature of the word, and the mechanics of the adoption of change, rise far above irritations that are mostly irrelevant to the creature under observation.
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Re: Wordsmiths will weep when they see Webster's Word of the Year
Posted by: DeusxMac
Date: January 12, 2020 11:34AM
Quote
Blankity Blank
True wordsmiths are not hidebound by the past. They may have preferences and opinions on any given change or evolution in the language, but the fascination and curiosity with the truly organic nature of the word, and the mechanics of the adoption of change, rise far above irritations that are mostly irrelevant to the creature under observation.

However, there is a clear difference between the natural and inevitable evolution and migration of language, and an adventitious, enforced deformation, or even extinction of meaning.
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Re: Wordsmiths will weep when they see Webster's Word of the Year
Posted by: RAMd®d
Date: January 12, 2020 05:14PM
While I understand the reasoning some prefer this 'evolved' use of 'they', I am and will always be, for as long as my 'always' maybe, stuck in my Boomer ways.

No slight intended, but I hope those of a different perspective, can understand that.





Your boos mean nothing to me, I've seen what you cheer for.

Insisting on your rights without acknowledging your responsibilities isn’t freedom, it’s adolescence.

We are a government of laws, not men.

Everybody matters or nobody matters.

When a good man is hurt,
all who would be called good
must suffer with him.

You and I have memories longer than the road that stretches out ahead.

There is no safety for honest men except
by believing all possible evil of evil men.

We don’t do focus groups. They just ensure that you don’t offend anyone, and produce bland inoffensive products. —Sir Jonathan Ive

An armed society is a polite society.
And hope is a lousy defense.

You make me pull, I'll put you down.

I *love* SIGs. It's Glocks I hate.
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Re: Wordsmiths will weep when they see Webster's Word of the Year
Posted by: Zoidberg
Date: January 13, 2020 10:47AM
Quote
sekker
This is good news as it reflects gender pronoun evolution.

Agreed.



YMMV (Your Mileage May Vary)
TETO (To Each Their Own)

(BTW, it's spelled < y'all >.)
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Re: Wordsmiths will weep when they see Webster's Word of the Year
Posted by: freeradical
Date: January 13, 2020 11:52AM
His Majesty...
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Re: Wordsmiths will weep when they see Webster's Word of the Year
Posted by: rjmacs
Date: January 13, 2020 12:38PM
Quote
RAMd®d
While I understand the reasoning some prefer this 'evolved' use of 'they', I am and will always be, for as long as my 'always' maybe, stuck in my Boomer ways.

No slight intended, but I hope those of a different perspective, can understand that.

It's a little like saying that while "lesbian" is all well and good, I'm going to stick with "Sapphist," as it's part of my Boomer ways.

I can understand that. I'm not okay with it, but I can understand it because it's the product of a privilege I share.



rj
AKA
Vreemac, Moth of the Future
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Re: Wordsmiths will weep when they see Webster's Word of the Year
Posted by: RAMd®d
Date: January 13, 2020 03:24PM
It's a little like saying that while "lesbian" is all well and good, I'm going to stick with "Sappiest," as it's part of my Boomer ways.


It is a little like that.

It's also a little like a clear difference between the natural and inevitable evolution and migration of language, and an adventitious, enforced deformation, or even extinction of meaning.

I'm not ok with it, but I understand it.





Your boos mean nothing to me, I've seen what you cheer for.

Insisting on your rights without acknowledging your responsibilities isn’t freedom, it’s adolescence.

We are a government of laws, not men.

Everybody matters or nobody matters.

When a good man is hurt,
all who would be called good
must suffer with him.

You and I have memories longer than the road that stretches out ahead.

There is no safety for honest men except
by believing all possible evil of evil men.

We don’t do focus groups. They just ensure that you don’t offend anyone, and produce bland inoffensive products. —Sir Jonathan Ive

An armed society is a polite society.
And hope is a lousy defense.

You make me pull, I'll put you down.

I *love* SIGs. It's Glocks I hate.
Options:  Reply • Quote
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