Though it houses the English language, the Merriam-Webster dictionary isn’t a linguistic gatekeeper. In fact, it’s far more interested in documenting the natural evolution of language than it is in maintaining a rigid status quo. And—to put it in internet parlance—the dictionary is also “savage af” when it comes to Twitter.

I feel like @MerriamWebster is turning into the “chill” parent who lets your friends come over and get high

— Gabriel Roth (@gabrielroth) September 7, 2016

Things started when senior Slate editor Gabriel Roth decided to make some jokes about Merriam-Webster’s lax stance on language. Roth was referring to a Merriam-Webster article that argued it’s fine to use the word “mad” to mean “angry” rather than “crazy.”

It’s great at first, it’s nice to have friends and a place to get high, but something about it starts to feel wrong

— Gabriel Roth (@gabrielroth) September 7, 2016

If no one’s making rules for us, it means we’re responsible for our own decisions, and we feel kind of ambivalent about that tbqh

— Gabriel Roth (@gabrielroth) September 7, 2016

The dictionary pulled no punches when it came to putting Roth in his place:


Keep on keeping on, Merriam-Webster.