As some people who believe they have the right to say “literally” when they mean “figuratively” might tell you, language is all about evolution. As society grows and moves in previously unforeseeable ways, our words need to grow and move with us. That’s why Merriam-Webster makes a point to tell everybody about the new words it adds to the dictionary every year. Well, that and the free advertising it gets from people like us who want to make jokes about dumb words. We don’t appreciate being used like that, though, so to counteract this strategy we’d like to remind you that the internet has made physical dictionaries effectively useless. Don’t buy them! Anyway, on with the words.
As reported by CNN, Merriam-Webster has added about 1,700 new words, with 3,200 existing words receiving “new examples to add context”—a phrase that we sincerely hope is on the cover somewhere. As usual, most of the words are trendy, technology-based things that everyone will groan about now and then accept by the time next year’s dictionaries come out. These words include “emoji” (those little poop icons that can be used to represent football teams), “clickbait” (like the manipulative headline that convinced you to read this very article), “meme” (the one positive thing that Reddit contributes to society), and “NSFW” (come on, are you new here?).
NSFW isn’t the only acronym that is now a word, though, as the dictionary has also added “WTF,” which is the name of a popular podcast. Some other fun words are “macaron” (a fancy cookie), “jeggings” (leggings that look like jeans for some reason), and “colony collapse disorder” (a phenomenon that Kylie Jenner thinks is caused by chemtrails). As great as those are, our favorite new word is “slendro,” which the dictionary says is “a pentatonic tuning employed for Javanese gamelans that divides the octave into five roughly similar intervals.” Hilarious!