On Tuesday, Merriam-Webster announced that it added more than 1,000 new words and definitions to its online edition. The new entries included social media favorites "throw shade," "side-eye," and "binge-watch."
"Online is a much faster medium than print, and we're now able to adapt and add these entries in a way that makes sense," Merriam-Webster's editor-at-large Peter Sokolowski told BuzzFeed News. "Why should we hold back?"
Typically, Merriam-Webster.com adds fewer than 50 new words each year. And this year's additions are significant not only because of the quantity of words, but also because they reflect "the breadth of English vocabulary and the speed with which we seek information," according to a statement on Merriam-Webster's website.
If you're wondering how a word gets added to the dictionary, Sokolowski explained that lexicographers will track and observe words using many, many spreadsheets.
There are also words that have been in the pipeline for a long time but have only recently been added as they've become more and more relevant — especially in today's political climate. "SCOTUS," "truther," and "microaggression" are just some examples.
"Ghost" as a verb and "face palm" were also new terms that Sokolowski and the Merriam-Webster team have been monitoring that have grown beyond social media and into common usage.
Megan Paolone is the copy chief for BuzzFeed News and is based in New York.
Contact Megan Paolone at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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