Dictionary.com Revises Up To 15,000 Terms, Including 'Black Lives Matter,' 'Gay' and 'Antifa'
The update, which Dictionary.com called their biggest one yet, is meant to be a reflection of the times.
With unprecedented times, comes unprecedented language. In order to address new vocabulary, changing definitions and more inclusive terminology, Dictionary.com has announced that it has made its most extensive update ever, revising as many as 15,000 words, and adding as many as 650 new words.
“Change is constant, a principle that’s true in language as in life,” Dictionary.com said in a statement. “No matter what is happening in the world, we’re committed to documenting and describing—and helping you stay informed on and, yes, sometimes entertained by—the English language as it evolves.”
One major update was a reexamination of certain terms and identities related to the racial justice movement in reaction to George Floyd’s killing and the protests that ensued. The word “Black” in reference to people is now officially capitalized – a change that major news organizations including the AP made in the previous weeks – in order to capture “the shared identity, culture and history of Black people,” and updating terms like “Afro-Latinx” to reflect the change.
Subsequently, the latest racial justice movement also brought terms like “Antifa” and “Black Lives Matter” to the forefront, which Dictionary.com says they reexamined as well.
They also reexamined language related to the LGBTQ+ community, including changing definitions to use the word “gay” instead of “homosexual” and “homosexuality,” as the more scientific terms “are now associated with pathology, mental illness, and criminality,” Dictionary.com said. Additionally, they’ve expanded different definitions to encompass “various gender identities,” they said, and capitalized “Pride” in any instance that refers to the LGBTQ+ community.
“Not only do these revisions help eliminate heterosexual bias in language, they also help better convey the diversity and richness of—and take Pride with a capital P in—human sexual experience and identity,” Dictionary.com said.
Additionally, terms related to addiction and suicide, animals that provide practical support to humans, the environment, technology, and politics and pop culture were also notably revised.
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