Why the singular “They” is Merriam-Webster’s word of the year

« They » has taken on a not-so-new meaning lately. This earned it the scrutiny it needed to win.

  • Merriam-Webster has announced « they » as the word of the year.
  • The selection was based on a marked increase in traffic to the online dictionary page.
  • Runners up included « quid pro quo » and « crawdad. »

You’ve heard of the Person of the Year, but did you know that Merriam-Webster announces a word of the year? Each year, they select a word notable for having been subject to a spike in online definition searches. The fact that « They, » as common a pronoun as any, saw a 313% increase in searches this year is remarkable.

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