Merriam-Webster’s Words Of The Year List Is Straight Out Of A Liberal Arts Classroom

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Sarah Wilder Social Issues Reporter
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Merriam-Webster’s words of the year included words such as “dystopian,” “deadname” and “Rizz,” according to a Monday press release from the dictionary.

The dictionary’s Word of the Year is “authentic,” which Merriam-Webster wrote is “driven by stories and conversations about AI, celebrity culture, identity, and social media.” “Rizz” which is a modern slang term that refers to someone’s charm or charisma, ranked second for look-ups in the year and was added to the dictionary in September. “Coronation” also ranked high, as Charles III took the throne in England after his mother Elizabeth reigned for 70 years until her death in September 2022. (RELATED: ‘Woke’ Doctor Who Episode Draws Backlash For ‘Misgendering’ Scene Featuring Trans Teenager)

Last on the list of popular words of 2023 was “deadname,” which is commonly used to describe the action of using a transgender person’s birth name.

“Deadname saw a large increase in lookups in March with ‘Parental Rights’ bills being considered in several states. Such bills require schools to use what many transgender supporters call a “deadname”—the name someone was given at birth and no longer uses upon transitioning. While deadname does not appear in legislation, the word was used in media coverage of the issue.”

“X” also became a popular search term, after tech billionaire Elon Musk bought Twitter and formally changed it’s name to “X.”

Merriam-Webster announced, “they,” the pronoun used by self-described nonbinary people, as its Word of the Year in 2019.

“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,” the dictionary said.

Under pressure from a 22-year-old black activist in 2020, the dictionary changed the definition of racism from, “a belief that race is the primary determinant of human traits and capacities and that racial differences produce an inherent superiority of a particular race,” to include, “the systemic oppression of a racial group to the social, economic, and political advantage of another.”