Although Donald Trump purports to have all the best words, during last night’s debate at Washington University in St. Louis—and throughout the entire campaign—the constituents have still been performing independent, up-to-the-minute linguistic fact-checking of the Republican presidential nominee. “Bigly,” “unproud”—the people want to know what these words mean, or if they’re even words. As evidenced by the top searches on Merriam-Webster’s website, potential voters have been investigating the verbiage of not only Trump but also fellow nominees Hillary Clinton and Gary Johnson, and political commentator Chris Matthews.
This morning, The Daily Dot gave props to the dictionary for being on top of its election game, especially in its Twitter feed. For example, last night, when Trump stated that he was “not unproud” of his millions of Facebook and Twitter followers, Merriam-Webster lexicographer Kory Stamper tweeted to confirm that “unproud” was indeed a word and gave its origin:
By tracking its most popular searches, Merriam-Webster provides information regarding not only what people might be dubious of (Is “bigly” a word? Did Trump even say it?) but also what they might not know. For example, there was a spike in searches last night for “demagogic,” after Clinton said, “It’s also very short-sighted and even dangerous to be engaging in the kind of demagogic rhetoric that Donald has about Muslims.” Sadly, as the folks at Merriam-Webster confirmed, Clinton was of course not referencing the Stranger Things (or Dungeons & Dragons) monster the Demogorgon.
Even sadder, however, is that when the discussion turned to the humanitarian crisis in Syria, “lepo” became one of the night’s most popular searches. Enough debate listeners are unfamiliar enough with Aleppo as to even recognize it as a city, let alone understand why it’s significant.
To be fair, most of those searches probably came from Gary Johnson.
[via The Daily Dot]