Merriam-Webster Has Just Named 'They' Its Word Of The Year, All Thanks To Sam Smith

Yep, 'they'.

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Merriam-Webster Has Just Named 'They' Its Word Of The Year, All Thanks To Sam Smith
If you thought having a word of the year award is a silly thing, wait till you hear what United States dictionary Merriam-Webster named theirs.

BBC News reported that Merriam-Webster has selected the word 'they' as its word of the year.

Yep, they actually selected 'they'.

Non-binary people are using it

According to the report, searches for ‘they’ on Merriam-Webster's website were 313 per cent higher this year than they were in 2018.

The dictionary also added a new definition for the word, reflecting its use as a singular personal pronoun for non-binary people.

British pop star Sam Smith came out as non-binary in March, and in September, confirmed on Instagram that their pronouns were "they/them".

Announcing their pronouns, Smith wrote: "I understand there will be many mistakes and misgendering, but all I ask is you please please try. I hope you can see me like I see myself now."
Merriam-Webster's editor-at-large Peter Sokolowski told news agency Associated Press that searches for the term shot up after some celebrities including Smith confirmed that they are non-binary.

Today is a good day so here goes. I’ve decided I am changing my pronouns to THEY/THEM ❤ after a lifetime of being at war with my gender I’ve decided to embrace myself for who I am, inside and out. I’m so excited and privileged to be surrounded by people that support me in this decision but I’ve been very nervous about announcing this because I care too much about what people think but fuck it! I understand there will be many mistakes and mis gendering but all I ask is you please please try. I hope you can see me like I see myself now. Thank you. P.s. I am at no stage just yet to eloquently speak at length about what it means to be non binary but I can’t wait for the day that I am. So for now I just want to be VISIBLE and open. If you have questions and are wondering what this all means I’ll try my best to explain but I have also tagged below the human beings who are fighting the good fight everyday. These are activists and leaders of the non binary/trans community that have helped me and given me so much clarity and understanding. @tomglitter @munroebergdorf @transnormativity @alokvmenon @katemoross @glamrou @travisalabanza @twyrent @chellaman @jvn @lavernecox @stonewalluk @glaad @humanrightscampaign @mermaidsgender Love you all. I’m scared shitless, but feeling super free right now. Be kind x

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"It reflects a surprising fact: even a basic term - a personal pronoun - can rise to the top of our data," the dictionary said in a statement.

"Although our look-ups are often driven by events in the news, the dictionary is also a primary resource for information about language itself, and the shifting use of 'they' has been the subject of increasing study and commentary in recent years.

"English famously lacks a gender-neutral singular pronoun to correspond neatly with singular pronouns like 'everyone' or 'someone', and as a consequence 'they' has been used for this purpose for over 600 years,” he said.

In case you are wondering,the dictionary’s previous words of the year weren't so, umm, weird.

In 2018, it was ‘justice’ while in 2017, it was ‘feminism’. We wonder what the 2020 word of the year will be.

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