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“They” Named Word of the Year by Merriam Webster

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.

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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.

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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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‘Justice’ Is Merriam-Webster’s Word of the Year

The fight for racial and gender equality; Brett Kavanaugh’s hearing; the controversy surrounding Robert Mueller’s investigation; this year has been a tumultuous news cycle and this is expected to continue in 2019.


In response to all this, Merriam-Webster crowned the word ‘justice’ as the word of the year for 2018.



“The concept of Justice was at the center of many of our national debates in the past year: racial justice, social justice, criminal justice, economic justice,” the company said. “In any conversation about these topics, the question of just what exactly we mean when we use the term justice is relevant, and part of the discussion,” it said.


There was a 74% in webs search compared with 2017, and the company acknowledged its features in many news outlets.


Image Via Brandon Briggs CNN.com


Oxford Dictionary named ‘toxic’ its word of the year, and Dictionary.com’s crowned ‘misinformation’ as the winner.


It comes after Trump’s former lawyer Michael Cohen was sentenced to three years in prison, during a week when sweeping criminal justice reforms look set to dominate the US Senate’s agenda.


Image Via Merriam-webster.com (Photo: Romolo Tavani)


‘Justice,’ succeeds last year’s winner, ‘feminism.’ There are many other examples of successes in the past of the companies word choices of 2018:


Image Via Merriam-webster.com


Searches for the word ‘nationalism’ saw an 8000% spike when Trump described himself as a nationalist at a rally in Houston; ‘Pansexual’ was buzzing when Janelle Monáe identified herself as such; ‘Lodestar’ increased when the anonymous writer published an explosive New York Times opinion piece; ‘Laurel’ spiked in searches after the death of the ‘Queen of Soul,’ Aretha Franklin, in August.


Image Via Legalinsurrection.com 


‘Socialism,’ ‘austerity,’ and ‘bailout,’ have all been crowned by the company in the past decade.



Featured Image Via Usatoday.com (Photo: Mark Lennihan, AP)