Merriam-Webster to revise its definition of racism following request from Missouri woman

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Merriam-Webster adds nonbinary pronoun ‘they’ to its dictionary

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CNN Merriam-Webster has officially added the nonbinary pronoun “they” as an entry in its dictionary. Chat with us in Facebook Messenger. Find out what’s happening in the world as it unfolds.

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A Phrase For Our Time: Merriam-Webster Adds ‘Dumpster Fire’ To Dictionary

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Merriam-Webster, Inc., is an American company that publishes reference books and is In , Webster published his first dictionary, A Compendious Dictionary of The most notable change was the inclusion of the date of the first known.

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Ah, the power of a well-worded email. Thanks to a particularly thoughtful email, Merriam-Webster will be updating its definition of the word racism to more fully include its systemic aspects. Last month, Kennedy Mitchum, a recent college graduate from Missouri, emailed the dictionary publisher to explain why she found its current definition wasn’t working, according to CNN. Currently, Merriam-Webster’s first definition of racism is “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.

According to St. She found that people would often point to the dictionary’s definition of racism to prove their own innocence, according to CNN. After having another argument that she resolved would be her last, she decided to email Merriam-Webster. It’s not just ‘I don’t like someone,’ it’s a system of oppression for a certain group of people. Following a back-and-forth email exchange, the company agreed to update its entry for the word racism. At present, Merriam-Webster’s second definition of the word is “a doctrine or political program based on the assumption of racism and designed to execute its principles” and “a political or social system founded on racism.

In an statement emailed to Mashable, Peter Sokolowski, said that the dictionary’s current second definition of racism “is divided to express, first, explicit institutional bias against people because of their race, and, second, a broader implicit bias that can also result in an asymmetrical power structure. Sokolowski explained that while this aspect of the definition covers the use suggested by Mitchum, the wording for the word racism will be made “even more clear” in the dictionary publisher’s next release.

When asked if the revision would specifically modify the first definition, Sokolowski said in a statement emailed to Mashable: “We are examining the evidence and drafting any revisions accordingly; the revised entry will not be finalized until it’s been through our editorial process, and we don’t anticipate releasing it to the public before our next dictionary update.

A Merriam-Webster editor reveals how words are added to the dictionary