If you thought having a word of the year award is a silly thing, wait till you hear what United States dictionary Merriam-Webster named theirs.
reported that Merriam-Webster has selected the word 'they
' as its word of the year.
Yep, they actually selected 'they'.
Non-binary people are using it
According to the report, searches for ‘they’ on Merriam-Webster's website were 313 per cent higher this year
than they were in 2018.
The dictionary also added a new definition for the word, reflecting its use as a singular personal pronoun for non-binary people.
British pop star Sam Smith came out as non-binary in March, and in September, confirmed on Instagram that their pronouns were "they/them".
Announcing their pronouns, Smith wrote: "I understand there will be many mistakes and misgendering, but all I ask is you please please try. I hope you can see me like I see myself now."
Merriam-Webster's editor-at-large Peter Sokolowski told news agency Associated Press
that searches for the term shot up after some celebrities including Smith confirmed that they are non-binary.
"It reflects a surprising fact: even a basic term - a personal pronoun - can rise to the top of our data," the dictionary said in a statement.
"Although our look-ups are often driven by events in the news, the dictionary is also a primary resource for information about language itself, and the shifting use of 'they' has been the subject of increasing study and commentary in recent years.
"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,” he said.
In case you are wondering,the dictionary’s previous words of the year weren't so, umm, weird.
In 2018, it was ‘justice’ while in 2017, it was ‘feminism’. We wonder what the 2020 word of the year will be.