In a move towards inclusivity, Dictionary.com has unveiled a fresh set of additions to its collection in its latest “word drop.” Here’s the full story.
Eliminating Gendered Pronouns
This update includes a range of terms related to relationships with a focus on eliminating gendered pronouns.
Among the noteworthy additions are terms like “Polysexual,” referring to an individual attracted to people of various genders, but not necessarily all genders.
Attracted to Yourself
The word “Autosexual” describes a person primarily attracted to themselves rather than others.
Additionally, “Amalgagender” is added to represent an individual whose gender identity is influenced by being intersex.
Also, “Gay marry” makes its way into the dictionary, denoting marriage between individuals of the same gender.
Trying to Keep in Pace
John Kelly, vice president of editorial at Dictionary.com, highlighted the importance of keeping pace with language evolution in relation to gender and identity.
The Dynamic Nature
Talking to NBC News, Kelly said, “Gender and identity have been particularly dynamic, and productive areas of language change in the past 15 years or so.
People Will Encounter These Words
“Whether it be socially or medically, there is a vocabulary component that is emerging, breaking through into the mainstream, that people need to know that they’re going to encounter,” he added.
He clarified that the additions are not driven by an agenda but rather by the need for accurate documentation.
A Comprehensive Review
Beyond adding new terms, Dictionary.com’s lexicographers have undertaken a comprehensive review of existing definitions.
Revamped Gender-Specific Pronouns
Many definitions that formerly used gender-specific pronouns have been revamped.
Phrases like ‘his or her’ have been replaced with ‘they/them’ pronouns or other gender-neutral alternatives.
K.E. Callaway, a lexicographer at Dictionary.com, provided insight into the rationale behind this shift.
Callaway said, “In terms of usage, ‘they’ is simply much more common as a generic pronoun than ‘he or she’, including in spoken and all but the most formal types of written English.”
Accessible to Readers
“By making this change, we have made our entries more similar to how people actually speak and write, hopefully making the entries more natural-sounding – and thus more accessible to readers,” Callaway concluded.
“We Are Going to Fail as a Country”
Several social media users shared their thoughts on the incident.
One user wrote, “We are going to fail as a country.”
Boycott the Dictionary?
Another user added, “Careful y’all, conservatives will start boycotting the dictionary!!”
A third user wrote, “The addition of new words and phrases, or even old words and phrases with new meanings, should not only be welcome in our pluralized society but encouraged.”
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