If you’ve been searching for that one descriptor for a phenomenon you are sure exists outside of your reading experience, I’m hopeful you will find it here.
The gender nonconforming pronoun as been named the 2019 word of the year after searches for the term increased by 313% within the past year.
Image via Reddit
The definition joins three other definitions of the word and goes as follows: “used to refer to a single person whose gender identity is nonbinary.” It was officially added to the dictionary this September.
Image via ABC7 Chicago
This choice should come as no surprise as the rise of nonbinary figures in the mainstream continues to increase. Just this year alone, we have seen Sam Smith and Jonathan Van Ness come forward to say they use “they” pronouns. Paris Fashion Week saw its first non-binary model, Oslo Grace and US Congresswoman Pramila Jayapal spoke about her gender-nonconforming child. The sitcom One Day at the Time explored a teenage relationship between a woman and a nonbinary person. This term become more seen in the mainstream shows hope that more people are accepting the term and will use it appropriately.
Other popular words of the year included “impeach” and “quid pro quo,” but Senior Editor Emily Brewster settled on “they” because it stood apart from other entries, being so “significant and sustained.”
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In recent years, the Oxford English Dictionary has been the center of of linguistic controversy, due to their unconventional additions to the compendium. For example, in 2015 the OED announced that the recipient of their coveted ‘Word of The Year’ title was the ‘Face With Tears of Joy’ emoji.
Image via CNN
Oxford stated that the emoji was chosen, because it was the ‘word’ that “best reflected the ethos, mood, and preoccupations of 2015,” though it wasn’t met without opposition.
Today’s controversy, however, is being received much more positively. OED released a list of all the new words being added to the dictionary in the month of October, several of which were terms plucked straight from the Star Wars universe.
Image via International Business Times
Some of the words added only have definitions relating to their Star Wars context, like the word ‘lightsabre.’ The formal definition now attributed to lightsabre is “in the fictional universe of the Star Wars films: a weapon resembling a sword, but having a destructive beam of light in place of a blade.”
The term Padawan is now defined as “an apprentice Jedi,” and Jedi is defined as “a member of an order of heroic, skilled warrior monks who are able to harness the mystical power of the Force.”
The word ‘force’ itself has also been updated. While the known definitions remain, the term now has another definition, one that reads “a mystical universal energy field.”
Alongside this Star Wars lingo, several sexual terms have been added as well, so use caution if you plan to browse OED’s list of new terms while at work. But, do feel free to call the interns in your office Padawans in all your emails. No one can stop you now!
Featured image via Reddit
Take this quiz to find out which "untranslatable" word from another language fits you best. Share if you learned a new word!
The evolution of language is nothing to fear… unless thou art living in Medieval times, which, incidentally, is when the first documented use of the singular ‘they’ took place. Some people don’t like it when words like ‘bougie’ or ‘TL;DR’ become words in a more official capacity… even though, clearly, we’re already using them. We call those people ‘elitists:’ people who think language is sacred and untouchable, that Shakespeare couldn’t drop profundities and make dick jokes at the exact same time.
Image Via The Mary SUE
One of the greatest things about language is that it’s constantly evolving to encapsulate new experiences, to help us better express ourselves. In 1996, the phrase ‘face palm’ was added to the dictionary—and you bet your ass 1996 was not the first time anyone expressed behavior so frustrating the only response was to bury your head in your hands. In 2018, the Oxford English Dictionary added ‘pansexual‘ to its lexicon, a term that had been around for nearly ONE HUNDRED years prior. Placing words we use to define gender and sexuality doesn’t define whether or not the experience exists: it does. That’s WHY there’s a word for it. What it really means is a granting of legitimacy. An acknowledgement of a lifetime of human experience.
(Don’t want pansexuality to be legitimized? Thou must get a grip.)
Image Via The Advocate
But these new Scrabble rules might just have all of us gripping the edges of the table and trying our best not to flip it… or flip out. More TWO-LETTER words? Comma on. (OK, that was bad, I know.) But speaking of OK, this word is one of the hotly contested new additions to the game. Another one is EW, which is what you’ll be yelling when someone ruins your next move. It’s not that I’m some purist who thinks ‘ok’ instead of ‘okay’ has anything to do with I.Q. points, but seriously: someone dropping a two-letter word and therein preventing you from playing any tiles is enough to make anyone face palm.
Among the more exciting new additions to the Scrabble game are ‘shebagging’ (when a female passenger places her bag on the empty seat next to her; has manspreading finally met its match?) and ‘zomboid’ (resembling a zombie, a.k.a. you leaving the club). The most controversial addition is sure to be the debatably annoying and certainly outdated ‘bae,’ a divisive term that may or may not have caused many a bae to split up.
Remember that notoriously difficult X tile? Well, with new words like ‘dox’ and ‘vax,’ you’ll be able to get rid of those bad boys. Of course, to your opponent, you’ll become the bad boy.
Gif Via Giphy
“It used to be that if you put a K down, you knew your opponent couldn’t play across the top of it – it will be a change of mindset,” said Brett Smitheram, the 2016 Scrabble World Champion. With truly chaotic energy, he added, “but that’s the joy of it.”
He also calls Scrabble an “adrenaline sport.” Well, it’s about to be.
Featured Image Via Mental Floss.