Gender

Genderqueering the Dictionary

Merriam-Webster added a slew of new gender-related terms to its lexicon, including transphobia, cisgender, and genderqueer.

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bilderbastlerin/Flickr

Transphobia. Cisgender. Genderqueer. These and a handful of other au courant terms used to talk about gender have officially made it into Merriam-Webster's unabridged dictionary. Founded in 1928, Merriam Webster has long served as an arbiter of the English language. So it's no surprise that some are upset over what they see as the dictionary company capitulating to "social justice warriors." 

But "we're not crusaders for anything but accuracy," said Peter Sokolowski, editor at large of Merriam-Webster. Sokolowski explained to The Atlantic that April's new additions—which include gender-related terms such as gender reassignment, gender-fluid, and the gender-neutral honorifc Mx. as well as tech words like Bitcoin, dox, sexting, and revenge porn, and acronyms such as ICYMI (in case you missed it)—aren't special and Merriam-Webster routinely updates its lexicon. This update alone included 2,000 new words. 

The aim is for Merriam-Webster dictionaries to reflect the way people currently talk, not preserve some pristine version of vocabulary. "Most dictionaries take a firmly descriptivist approach, taking cues from the media and culture at large about what words mean and how their usage has evolved," The Altantic notes. 

On a page asking how words get into a Merriam-Webster dictionary, the company states that "the answer is simple: usage. To decide which words to include in the dictionary and to determine what they mean, Merriam-Webster editors study the language as it's used. They carefully monitor which words people use most often and how they use them." Sources for discovering these new words include "books, newspapers, magazines, and electronic publications." A word must be cited in "a substantial number" and wide range of publications before it will make the cut. 

In the case of the new gender-related words, Sokolowski pointed out that many have been in usage since the 1990s. And while some may worry that their inclusion in the dictionary now endorses a particular conception of sex or gender, he insists that "the dictionary is not a political document." In including these new gender-related words, Merriam-Webster is simply "defining what the label used to refer to" some people means. "We're describing the word and how it's used in the language."

In case you're curious, here are a few of the new Merriam-Webster definitions. 

Cisgender: (adj.) of, relating to, or being a person whose gender identity corresponds with the sex the person had or was identified as having at birth 

Genderqueer: (adj.) of, relating to, or being a person whose gender identity cannot be categorized as solely male or female

Gender identity: (noun) the totality of physical and behavioral traits that are designated by a culture as masculine or feminine, 2:  a person's internal sense of being male, female, some combination of male and female, or neither male or female

Gender reassignment: (noun) the act or process of changing from living as a person of one sex to living as a person of the opposite sex by undergoing surgery, hormone treatment, etc. to obtain the physical appearance of the opposite sex

NEXT: The Most Bizarre Third-Party Fantasy of the Year So Far

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  1. BUT… BUT MUH KULTUR

    1. Thank you for making me snort up my lunch.

    2. That was good. Needs to be on a t shirt.

    3. Form your own club.

    1. The commentariat is on fire today.

    2. The derpmacht may have been lending a hand.

      1. They’re always there to help!

    3. Back in the ’30s, the term was Homintern.

      1. I knew this goes way back.

  2. What’s a dictionary?

    /millennial

    1. It’s when one guy – Mx – tells all the others what to say.

    2. Mine already has perfectly good words for normal, abnormal,reality and mutilation.

  3. Ad Nauseum. Ad Nauseum. Ad Nauseum. Ad Nauseum. Ad Nauseum. Ad Nauseum. Ad Nauseum. Ad Nauseum. Ad Nauseum. Ad Nauseum. Ad Nauseum. Ad Nauseum. Ad Nauseum. Ad Nauseum. Ad Nauseum. Ad Nauseum. Ad Nauseum. Ad Nauseum. Ad Nauseum. Ad Nauseum. Ad Nauseum. Ad Nauseum. Ad Nauseum. Ad Nauseum. Ad Nauseum. Ad Nauseum. Ad Nauseum. Ad Nauseum. Ad Nauseum. Ad Nauseum. Ad Nauseum. Ad Nauseum. Ad Nauseum. Ad Nauseum. Ad Nauseum. Ad Nauseum. Ad Nauseum. Ad Nauseum. Ad Nauseum. Ad Nauseum. Ad Nauseum. Ad Nauseum. Ad Nauseum. Ad Nauseum. Ad Nauseum. Ad Nauseum. Ad Nauseum. Ad Nauseum. Ad Nauseum. Ad Nauseum. Ad Nauseum. Ad Nauseum. Ad Nauseum. Ad Nauseum. Ad Nauseum. Ad Nauseum. Ad Nauseum. Ad Nauseum. Ad Nauseum. Ad Nauseum. Ad Nauseum. Ad Nauseum. Ad Nauseum. Ad Nauseum. Ad Nauseum. Ad Nauseum. Ad Nauseum. Ad Nauseum. Ad Nauseum. Ad Nauseum. Ad Nauseum. Ad Nauseum. Ad Nauseum. Ad Nauseum. Ad Nauseum. Ad Nauseum. Ad Nauseum. Ad Nauseum. Ad Nauseum. Ad Nauseum.

  4. Curiously absent are the twin-spirit and genderfuck designations. It sure is difficult to keep up with this stuff.

    1. That’s not in the dictionary.

      1. And xe’s not in the Almanach de Gotha, either.

  5. What, we lost snollygoster for these!?

    snollygoster (n.): a shrewd, unprincipled person. President Harry S. Truman loved this word, and he sometimes used it to refer to members of the Republican Party.

    But seriously, why would people be upset about this? If I encounter a word I don’t know, I want to be able to pick up a dictionary and look the fucker up. Although, I suppose I’m probably just going to hit wiktionary at this point which has all of these terms anyway.

    1. But seriously, why would people be upset about this? If I encounter a word I don’t know, I want to be able to pick up a dictionary and look the fucker up.

      Well, you’re intellectually curious.

      1. He is I intelliqueer.

        1. You mean he’s like Socrates?

          1. Without the pederasty.

            1. Are you certain?

    2. The upset is the codification of newspeak nonsense into once-respectable repositories of knowledge.

      1. Difference being that newspeak was imposed top down, this is merely tracking organic bottom up changes in language use.

        1. If you think these tumblrisms are bottom-up intoductions rather than impositions by authorities in institutions, I’m not sure which source I’m going to have to refer you to.

          I should keep a catalogue of them somewhere.

      2. Sooo you’re a prescriptivist? Only the words you approve of should be available in a dictionary to better edify the populace?

        1. I assert that the threshold for inclusion has been set too low or that the people have been looking at an absurd sebset of usage if these terms invented to obfuscate the discussion and hide the stunning hypocracy and occassional evil of the speakers has ruined the reputation of the instution compiling this dictionary.

          1. So, knee-jerk dislike.

            All right, that’s really all I needed to know. Thank you for your help, UCS.

            1. I hop you enjoy your cup’o’smug.

              1. I assert that the threshold for inclusion has been set too low or that the people have been looking at an absurd sebset of usage if these terms invented to obfuscate the discussion and hide the stunning hypocracy and occassional evil of the speakers has ruined the reputation of the instution compiling this dictionary.

                Should I have read that as anything other than a flaily attempt to hide your dislike of the issue behind technical sounding words? The point of a dictionary is to be able to find what a word means when you encounter it. You don’t want people to be able to find these words because you don’t like them. You want a threshold set high enough that words you don’t like don’t get included. You have been very helpful in answering my question. Thank you.

                1. “technical sounding words”?

                  If any of that strikes you as technical sounding rather than plain language, go have fun with the dictionary folks.

                  1. You tend toward high diction when you’re making a weak argument and want to sound smart. It happens, dude.

                    1. You tend toward high diction when you’re making a weak argument and want to sound smart. It happens, dude.

                      And that’s where you lost me. None of the verbiage I’ve used is ‘high diction’. It is literally my everyday vocabulary.

                    2. I apologize, I didn’t realize you were “that guy” who talks in artificially high diction all the time…you know the type of guy who says “verbiage” instead of “words” on a regular basis.

                      I misjudged you, and I apologize. I was that guy in middle school, but I got better.

                    3. I apologize, I didn’t realize you were “that guy” who talks in artificially high diction all the time…you know the type of guy who says “verbiage” instead of “words” on a regular basis.

                      I misjudged you, and I apologize. I was that guy in middle school, but I got better.

                      You really are a prick, huh?

                    4. You really are a prick, huh?

                      If you think that’s being a prick, you might want to find yourself a hug-box instead of going on the internet. Also, white-knighting UCS won’t get you laid

                      😉

                    5. I don’t know what white-knighting is. Is it in the newest dictionary?

                    6. Merriam Webster even! Although M-W doesn’t cover the mock-PUA shades of meaning I was going for there, but you’ll be able to suss it out, I’m sure.

                    7. Ooooh, I see, you were continuing the pattern of dickbaggery. Got it. Dickbaggery isn’t in the dictionary, either, by the way, but I think you can suss it out.

                    8. And I see you’re continuing your adorable need for a hug-box, which *isn’t* in M-W, so I’ll provide the definition from Wikipedia for you:

                      A hug machine, also known as a hug box, a squeeze machine, or a squeeze box, is a deep-pressure device designed to calm hypersensitive persons, usually individuals with autism spectrum disorders. The therapeutic, stress-relieving device was invented by Temple Grandin while she was attending college.

                    9. I’m not sure why you continue to support my claim that you’re a prick, but ok.

                    10. I’m not sure why you continue to support my claim that you’re a prick, but ok.

                      Mostly because I find it hilarious that you think a mild ribbing by HyR standards needed to be pointed out as prickishness. Get out from under your mother’s skirt and harden the fuck up.

                    11. Sounds to me like you’re the one bitching about being called a prick for …. being a prick. Maybe you should “harden the fuck up.”

                    12. I mean, sure, you’re free to read it that way, or I could be bored with some downtime at work and find rustling your jimmies a good way to kill time until my next client shows up.

                    13. It is literally my everyday vocabulary.

                      Wait, which definition of “literally” is this?

                    14. Wait, which definition of “literally” is this?

                      The literal one, not the one where it means ‘figuratively’.

                    15. Aren’t words fun when they can mean whatever the fuck we want them to mean? It’s not as if the purpose of language is to clearly communicate ideas. New BS words don’t cloud that clear communication in the least, right?

            2. What would your threshold for inclusion be?

              1. What would your threshold for inclusion be?

                Intended for Jesse.

                1. What would your threshold for inclusion be?

                  Basically are these words showing up in professional print (magazines, newspapers, books) with any kind of regularity. If they’re just showing up on tumblr, no I think they’re just slang terms and urban dictionary will suffice. Once they start bubbling up in professional print instead of user generated text I think they bear inclusion.

              2. “What would your threshold for inclusion be?”

                I am for any words that are used peacefully and voluntarily.

          2. I stopped thinking Merriam-Webster had any credibility when they added “Doh” to their dictionaries years ago because of Homer fucking Simpson.

            1. I use “d’oh” all the time. Don’t bowdlerize me, bro.

          3. In which case – start your own dictionary. Not that you don’t have the right to complain that others set their standards too low, but if you think that’s true and you think you have enough people who feel the same way as you . . .

            1. How about I just don’t buy Merriam-Webster dictionaries?

              1. Sure, take the easy road.

                1. Let’s be honest here: That’s the real reason they’re constantly adding words. They need to give people reasons to buy new dictionaries. It’s the same BS reason colleges force you to get the newest math or history textbook… when that shit hasn’t changed.

                  1. I had the same math book through four university math classes – Calc 1, 2, 3 and Differential Equations. Amortized through the four classes it was about $25/class for the book.

                    It was physics where they changed editions on me and pulled that bullshit.

                  2. “Let’s be honest here: That’s the real reason they’re constantly adding words. They need to give people reasons to buy new dictionaries”

                    I’m not sure if this is sarcastic, but I think maybe they add words to the dictionary because there are new words.

                    1. Not sarcasm. There aren’t 2000 legitimate new words each year. This is what they do to keep themselves in the news and to keep people buying the newest dictionary.

                      I get your point. Obviously, new words are indeed created all the time. But, the methodology used by M-W to include words seems to indicate many of those included are forced in for exactly the same reason the math textbook changes: “Hey, we added three new problems to page 394!”

                      Like I said, I remember when “doh” became a “word” (a word? really?). And it got all sorts of media attention, because it was rightfully recognized as being asinine.

                      I’m all for language evolving (and it will and does regardless of what I think), but that doesn’t mean I think every change is a worthwhile one. I find many of the changes to be detrimental to purpose of language to communicate clear ideas. Rather, many of these things muddle rather than clarify. Just my opinion.

                    2. Yeah, I don’t have much of a problem with them adding most of these words (although D’oh may be a stretch).

                      What pissed me off was when the Oxford dictionary made a fucking emoji word of the year…

                    3. Yes, language change happens specifically to increase the profits of dictionary makers.

                    4. Read my other comment(s). I recognize that language changes. I also know that the Merriam-Webster is a business and needs people to buy their dictionaries. A great way to market your new edition is with controversial new words. I’m not saying every new word is bogus. I’m saying we’re talking about this because M-W knows how to sell dictionaries.

                    5. It does appear that I moved the goalposts some from my original comment. Obviously I was being a bit hyperbolic. However, there’s a big difference between M-W adding 50 new words (which no one would argue over, and few people would feel compelled to get the newest edition) and adding 2000 new words, and having the dual benefit of getting some free press for adding some ridiculous words and having people go, “2000 new words? Man, that makes my 2013 edition super old. There are now 6000 new words I don’t know!” Again, I don’t know how much this all affects sales, as I’m not a dictionary salesman, but there’s some marketing elements to all of this.

                    6. I just did a quick search on Amazon and BookFinder.com, and it looks like this is the 2016 edition of the Merriam-Webster Dictionary is the first new edition (not a reprint, but an actual new edition) in over a decade.

                      So I’ll have to be forgiveness, but I find the “financial motive” hypothesis a bit suspect.

          4. “I assert that the threshold for inclusion has been set too low”

            The words ‘genderqueer’ and ‘transphobe’ are used much more frequently than the vast majority of the words in the dictionary.

            The fact that they’re used so frequently might say something you don’t like about our culture, but it’s the dictionary’s job to give definitions of words, not to make judgments on if it’s a good word or not.

            I think the word ‘Islamophobe’ is retarded and is mostly used as a slur to stifle debate, but it’s still a word with a defined meaning and should therefore be in the dictionary.

            1. I won’t squawk until the dictionary editors remove “testes”, “chromosomes”, “bughouse”, “crazy”, “deranged” and “nutcase”, which are all useful words in discussing gender identity disorders.

              1. You have an invitation to a cognitive transformation center* waiting.

                *In oldspeak the term was broken down into such trigger phrases as ‘school’, ‘asylum’, ‘reeducation camp’, and ‘mental hospital’. these useages are unsafe and problematic.

    3. I use my dictionary to hold my office window open.

      True story.

      1. I use mine as a base for my monitor, m-w.com is all I need

        1. And urban dictionary when I read H&R

    4. Language is made in practice not theory. And if people are using these words with these meanings, then they should be incorporated into the dictionary. The fact that they are words and have specific meaning doesn’t say anything about the legitimacy of the ideas and concepts they represent.

      Lysencoism is complete imaginary bullshit, but it is still a word that means something. The same is true here.

      1. The fact that they are words and have specific meaning doesn’t say anything about the legitimacy of the ideas and concepts they represent.

        This bears repeating as much as necessary until the point is understood.

        1. That’s justification enough for inclusion, but don’t lets start using them in earnest.

      2. Lysencoism is complete imaginary bullshit, but it is still a word that means something. The same is true here.

        Exactly.

      3. This is true. But then why isn’t irregardless considered a word?

        1. Because a misuse is different than giving a word a new meaning. Irregardless is not a new meaning to a word. It is a nonstandard redundancy. It is a incorrect way of saying “regardless”. And it is in the dictionary.

          http://www.merriam-webster.com…..regardless

          1. But if everyone uses it that way who are you to say that’s the incorrect way to use it?

            1. So, for all intensive purposes, you’re saying everyone needs to just tow the lion?

              1. No, intensive has an ascribed meaning that can’t be changed everever to the phrase intents and purposes while Tow the Lion is the protagonist in my upcoming masterpiece of children’s literature on the most common misuse of metaphors in the magical land of Hizztory

              2. Don’t you mean intensive porpoises?

              3. The correct usage is “intensive porpoises”, you knuckle dragging illiterate.

                1. “The correct usage is “intensive porpoises”, you knuckle dragging illiterate.”

                  Dolphins don’t tolerate intensive porpoises: https://youtu.be/VBul5j30V98

                2. Your right, i should of known better.

              4. “So, for all intensive purposes, you’re saying everyone needs to just tow the lion?”

                No easy task, that: https://youtu.be/Y1evM5B0gg8

          2. It is a incorrect way of saying “regardless”.

            No. It is an incorrect way of saying “irrespective”.

          3. Keep your hands off my ATM Machine!

    5. If I encounter a word I don’t know, I want to be able to pick up a dictionary and look the fucker up.

      You mean your phone, right?

    6. Because Goodthink. If these words aren’t in the dictionary then they’re not ‘official’ – not that American English has any officialness to it – and so can be dismissed.

      Entry into the dictionary is similar to being recognized as a state by another state. It doesn’t count until that happens.

      1. So these words can’t be used at a UN meeting until they’re in the dictionary or something? Or they can’t be in the Word Olympics?

        1. No, they can’t be used in Scrabble until they are in an official dictionary.

          1. I knew Scrabble was a degenerate SJW front-group!

          2. The Official Scrabble Dictionary has tons of words that aren’t in any other dictionary, at least in the pre-Internet days when my family had both to compare.

            1. But, which version of dictionary are you looking for those words? There are many versions and editions of dictionaries available – including the Official Scrabble Dictionary. I suppose it depends on the purpose of the dictionary.

              1. I suppose it was American Heritage – so, mid-sized – but I happened to also have procured an ancient Webster’s unabridged at a garage sale when I was a kid. That sucker weighed like 20 pounds.

            2. How many points for “LGBTQIAPK”?

              1. None.

                You do, however, get strung from the nearest light fixture by your small intestine.

                Or, more accurately, it’s an acronym, and thus not a valid play.

    7. But seriously, why would people be upset about this?

      THOSE ARE RECRUITMENT WORDS AND YOU KNOW IT. Might as well put pictures in the dictionary of that volleyball game from Top Gun. (Nothing will turn a young, impressionable lad as easily as that. IT ALMOST GOT A YOUNG ME.)

      1. Similar thing happened to me after watching Robocop and Starship Troopers.

        Both have scenes in unisex locker rooms where there were naked women mingling right there with the guys. One of the naked women was Dina Meyer, who was playing some kind of interplanetary marine. To this day, I don’t understand the fuss over bathrooms.

        1. To this day, I don’t understand the fuss over bathrooms.

          1) You must not date a lot of women. Otherwise, (make all the bones about confidence issues you like) you would’ve met plenty who are loathe to get naked in front of other women, let alone other men.

          2) You must not have ever maintained separate unisex restrooms.

          Theoretically/thematically, I agree with you. Practically, lots of people don’t want to shower with anyone (as is their ‘right’/preference) and I’m fine with large swaths of the cesspool that is humanity using the bathrooms on their own continent as they see fit.

        2. The ancient Romans didn’t have separate male-female bathroom either?

          1. AND YOU SAW WHAT HAPPENED TO THEM.

      2. Might as well put pictures in the dictionary of that volleyball game from Top Gun.

        Beach football from Point Break.

    8. Urban Dictionary is my go-to.

    9. Deal with it, you damn gongoozler!!

  6. More accurate headline – “Venerable instution beclowns itself.”

    1. Ah good, you’re perfect to answer my question above, besides knee-jerk dislike of the issues involved, why would you be unhappy with words being available in a dictionary so that those who encounter them in the wild can look them up.

      I find this position fascinating and would like to know more.

        1. Obsolete, like Miriam-Webster.

          1. For that you can thank the internet, not lowered standards.

            In this case, the standards got lowered because it became impossible to keep making money with the higher ones – in the same way most modern media is clickbait articles.

            People are only as good as the world allows them to be.

      1. I find this position fascinating and would like to know more.

        While I agree with your position wrt to being able to look things up (even the offensive stuff), I can also sympathize with the abhorence of pedantically documenting and/or sanctioning any/all oral diarrhea.

        A perfect case in point, IMO, is genderqueer. A word co-opted from queer to mean something completely different, and yet, exactly the same thing.

        Remember Ebonics and how we were gonna teach it to kids in schools? UCS’s conservative stance helps keep the more libertine libertarians from jumping off bridges like that.

        1. Remember Ebonics and how we were gonna teach it to kids in schools?

          An issue that was twisted out of all recognition because RACE. Oh, how do I remember that one.

          1. Ebonics has its uses.

            When it comes to raisin yo street cred, Ebonics is pretty dope.

        2. Remember Ebonics and how we were gonna teach it to kids in schools? UCS’s conservative stance helps keep the more libertine libertarians from jumping off bridges like that.

          All the more reason for libertarians to support a language regulating agency like the Acad?mie fran?aise

          1. That’s too far in the opposite direction.

            1. Yet the men’s jackets are just fabuleux.

  7. But “we’re not crusaders for anything but accuracy,” said Peter Sokolowski, editor at large of Merriam-Webster.

    Your actions say something diametrically opposed to your statements.

  8. … the company states that “the answer is simple: usage … And while some may worry that their inclusion in the dictionary now endorses a particular conception of sex or gender, he insists that “the dictionary is not a political document.” In including these new gender-related words, Merriam-Webster is simply “defining what the label used to refer to” some people means.

    That’s one good approach. The same should go for accurate stereotypes. If a profession is predominantly male, let language – reports, and advertising – reflect that.

    In including these new gender-related words, Merriam-Webster is simply “defining what the label used to refer to” some people means.

    I’m tired. But I’m pretty sure that sentence doesn’t work.

  9. I feel like this article is missing a Crusty “Would”.

    1. “Would” and “wouldn’t” should be the only acceptable pronouns.

  10. We’re upset that a dictionary is reflecting changes to the language now? Well, good. Can we make the dictionary only work for Old English? Fuck all this bullshit Latinate pollution in our language, broskis.

    1. broskis.

      Surely you mean “bro?er”.

      1. The English Overthrowing, also called the Bloodless Overthrowing of 1688, is the name of the overthrow of King James II by a thede of English Lawmooters.

        It is reckoned as being one of the most hefty tides in the long forblowing of Lawmoot wieldrights and that of the Wreathful Kinline. With the Bill of Rights couthing, it stamped out once and for all any mayliness of a Catholic kingrede, and ended shrithes towards Full Kine-reding in the British kingdoms by wielding the kings’s strengths and shaping the first tidely lawmoot in Eveland.

        How could you not want everyone to speak in such a way?

        1. You just dislike it because you grew up steeped in this bastard dialect we spew.

          1. Honestly, it’s far superior to the Latinate-filled obfuscated nonsense that’s spewed by most of the people who use words like “genderqueer”. I share Orwell’s opinion on the matter.

            1. By the slege of ?unor, thu wolde go baec to speccan anglisc as in the daegs when triewe men cept the eald hus, ere crist cuman, ere frenc cuman?

        2. Because fuck strong vs weak conjugations.

        3. Seems like a good place to celebrate Uncleftish Beholding.

        4. That doesn’t look like Old English to me…

  11. Why bother? These idiots are making up words and changing their meanings all the goddamned time. The words will have new meanings by the time these dictionaries go to print, and MW will get labeled as a retrograde transphobic TEATHUGLIKKKAN for using the old definitions.

    1. Clearly we don’t understand the superfluid language identity, man. Words mean what they feel like meaning at that time, and can change from minute to minute.

      1. But they can, UCS. Look, take “meta”. This word was nonsense when I was a child. If I didn’t know what “meta” meant today, communication would be inefficient.

        Words are like memes. Some stick, some don’t, some cycle around. People come up with new ones. We’re a creative, innovative species; we need new words to describe new ideas. And when people innovate new ideas that we think are stupid, we innovate new colloquialisms with which to plumb just how profoundly stupid we find it. Bonus points for both creativity and vulgarity.

        1. That’s some hoopy frood right there.

        2. That’s why I constantly use chubby hopeful in conversations.

          Chubby hopeful. (adj)
          1. Hoping your hard-on gets used while you are still hard.
          2. Fat people wanting something really bad.

  12. It all started going downhill when they added a second entry for “literally”.

    1. The main use for “bemused” is utterly stupid, and it’s all because some lexicographer misunderstood what Alexander Pope meant by “a parson much bemus’d in Beer”. Fuck dictionaries. Burn them all.

      1. Fucking dictionary needs an editor. Half of the words are wrong.

      2. Warty and I agree: burn all allopathic dictionaries, “burn them all.”

    2. It all started going downhill when they added a second entry for “literally”.

      I had to check this out, and turns out you’re right. Now I want to punch a baby dolphin in the face.

      1. As I tell my friends often, if you’d listen to me more often you’d find that I’m right about a lot of things.

        You could littorally punch your baby dolphin. Or is that another one of these obscure masturbation euphemisms I keep hearing about?

        1. I can’t wait until we have Species Identity and Speciesqueer. Then I could be a fucking dolphin.

          1. I thought those were otherkin.

            1. …. I don’t know whether to laugh or cry.

              1. Ah, plain old vanilla white racist dysphoria, a classic!

  13. The real question to me is why would you look those words up on m-w when the urban dictionary definitions are bound to be much more entertaining

    1. 1) Sense of propriety. 2) Sense of justice. 3) Gentlemen.

  14. There are a lot of triggering words in that book. It should be banned, or at least come with a warning on it.

    1. Nah, by the time there are enough trigger warnings on the trigger warnings, it’d be too expensive to print.

    2. Can’t ban what you can’t define.

  15. All this just so people can feel special about themselves.

  16. “Gender reassignment” of course is a just a newer and more politically correctified term for “sex change”.

    I’m honestly not sure exactly what the Saul Alinsky left determined to be so bad or offensive about “sex change”, but if you search for it on the site those terms link to it returns nothing, which kind of seems to give the lie to Sokolowski’s claim that they’re not bending to fashionable leftist politics.

    I would bet my life savings that outside San Francisco and the D.C. to New York corridor, almost everyone still calls it a sex change and not a “gender reassignment”.

    1. If only because ‘sex change’ has fewer syllables than ‘gender reassignment’ and means the exact same thing.

      1. So, upon further review it turns out that “sex change” is still in their dictionary of terms, but it’s in their regular dictionary search, and not their medical subsection search, which is a little confusing.

    2. Because sex and gender are different now.

      1. But even so, isn’t it the sex and not the gender that gets altered in the procedure?

    3. Following Carlin’s Law that such words get longer and less to the point. Like “shellshock” morphing into “post traumatic stress disorder”.

    4. Gender reassignment sounds vaguely dystopian, “please report to the Department of Social Justice for gender reassignment”

    5. How much time have you put in to studying Saul Alinsky’s works? Just curious.

      1. Mike M. doesn’t study! Studyin’s for fags, college boy! YEEEEHAW!

        1. I’m mean, I’m quite willing to believe that Saul Alinsky sucks. But I’ve never read a word of him, only caricatured interpretations of him by people whose opinions I…how should I put this politely…I suspect might not be the best informed.

    6. almost everyone still calls it a sex change and not a “gender reassignment”.

      I bet most doctors call it “gender reassignment” even in flyover country.

      1. Considering the very epicenter of sex change surgery for decades was trinidad, CO, “flyover country” is the place to go for getting your trans on.

        1. I propose “getting [one’s] trans on” as the replacement term for “gender reassignment,” should such become necessary.

    7. “Gender reassignment” would be a good thing if “gender” meant what MW says it means; i.e., “the behavioral, cultural, or psychological traits typically associated with one sex”. Note that the definition does not mention physical appearance or chromosomes. As it stands, the distinction between “sex” and “gender” is quite confused.

      “Gender reassignment”, according to MW, means ” the act or process of changing from living as a person of one sex to living as a person of the opposite sex by undergoing surgery, hormone treatment, etc. to obtain the physical appearance of the opposite sex.”

      Consistency with MW’s definition of “gender” would suggest that the preferred term should be “sex reassignment” since the procedure reforms the physical body to appear similar the preferred sex rather than reforming the gender-conflicted mind to conform to the actual sex.

      1. Except MW is trying to have their definitions consistent with the way words are used, not consistent with other definitions.

  17. I just can’t seem to get up the energy to give a shit about the diktats of some old-timey dictionary company. It was a jillion degrees last night and I’m on no sleep. NO SLEEP!

    1. Jillion isn’t a word in the dictionary. Yet.

        1. That dictionary is racist.

    2. Hey, at least you don’t have a Kenny Rogers Chicken sign outside your window, right?

      1. Or a neighbor with a small dog that won’t stop yapping.

      2. Yeah, but I do have the girl on the noisy moped who is probably a drug mule, given her nocturnal driving habits.

        1. I mean, “Nah, but…”

          Literally, I’m on no sleep, Jerry! I can’t believe the USG trusts me to build a Serbian language baseline web site today. I’m-a fuck it up royally, I’m sure.

          1. Do a quick search and replace from Serbian to Elbonian, and see if anybody gets the joke.

          2. Here, in the honour of the dictionary thread, let me set you up with all the words you need.

            Jebati – verb, infinitive
            Jebem – verb, fist person singular, current tense
            Jebani – adjective, singular, masculine form
            Jeba? – noun, singular, masculine form

            1. WARNING!!!
              Do not use Pan Zagloba’s words in any context.

  18. Next thing you know they’ll want to take the dic out of dictionary.

    1. Best someecard ever! (except for the couple that I have submitted)

  19. Sooooooooo… by definition… isn’t everyone on the planet some degree of genderqueer?

  20. “The aim is for Merriam-Webster dictionaries to reflect the way people currently talk, not preserve some pristine version of vocabulary.”

    Most people will go their entire lives without saying “genderqueer” – this isn’t an issue, of course, but I can think of a whole host of Southern, Appalachian, and black terms and phrases that aren’t in the dictionary. At least, as far as I can tell, maybe the additional 2,000 words covered some of this.

    1. Nah, bro. Dictionary be straight up racist. Ya dig?

    2. But most of those things would probably be triggering? … Speaking of which, is “triggering” in the new version?

      1. Well, it was in there with the Pre-Social Justice definition because it was a real word before a new meaning (admittedly slightly related to the old one) got tacked on.

        1. Touch?. Or is touch? too high brow a term?

          1. Too French.

            Go speak to Warty about your punishment.

            1. Ah. Ah. *holds up one finger*

              As per the Official Dungeon Concordance following the Hugeman lawmoot of ’14, subsection 4, paragraph 3:

              – Any foreign word heard on Looney Tunes is allowable under the ironic usage exemption.

              1. Fine, we can let it go this time.

    3. I can think of a whole host of Southern, Appalachian, and black terms and phrases that aren’t in the dictionary.

      Which dictionary?

      1. Merriam-Webster.

        1. A cursory glance reveals that “cooter” is in there, as well as the odious use of “fix” to mean “about to do something”.

          1. I’m fixin’ to smack you right in the cooter.

          2. A cursory glance reveals that “cooter” is in there, as well as the odious use of “fix” to mean “about to do something”.

            Well, never mind, that’s really all you need.

            I do use “fixin to” a lot, to be fair.

          3. What’s the Urban Dictionary, chopped liver?

          4. the odious use of “fix” to mean “about to do something”.

            When the Mises Institute move to New Hampshire, then you can make fun of Southern linguistic conventions.

            Until then, just understand that Southernspeak is the language of the One True Libertarianism. Also why McClanahan is almost certainly God’s favorite living libertarian right now.

            1. “Until then, just understand that Southernspeak is the language of the One True Libertarianism. Also why McClanahan is almost certainly God’s favorite living libertarian right now.”

              Does he become “Brian” if they move to New Hampshire?

              1. I prefer to imagine changing his name to Angus and living in the Alabaman equivalent of a bothy, where he spends the next four decades muttering unintelligible epithets about the general government.

                1. Aside from the name change, you’ve just described my dream life.

            2. When the Mises Institute move to New Hampshire, then you can make fun of Southern linguistic conventions.

              Who’s making fun? I’m saying it is heresy that needs to be uprooted by steel and fire (again).

          5. Do I say got my har did or got my hair done?

        2. We’ve started the Agamemnon memorial dictionary. It’s missing all of those Southern, Applatian and black terms. If you would kindly do a write-up and justification for inclusion based on breadth of vernacular usage, we can see about adding them.

          1. “Agamemnon memorial dictionary.”

            I’m completely out of the loop here.

  21. Have they changed the definition of “literally” yet?

    Because, as it is actually used, it literally means not literally.

    1. It’s been marked as dual definition “literally and not literally”

      1. That’s literally retarded.

    2. Mentioned above, but yes. Check out M-W’s site.

    3. When the revolution comes, the people who misuse literally will be among the first two or three dozen groups to be put against the wall.

      Also, people who thoughtlessly float punctuation inside or outside quotation marks. Not okay.

      1. I resent the inclusion of the second group.

        1. Now that handwriting is dying and everything is written in word-processing applications, we should just go to the Cormac McCarthy approach of italicizing anything that might have once appeared inside quotation marks, which are nothing but a barbarous relic meant to sow confusion throughout the English-scribbling world.

          1. What about efficiency? Can you italicize quicker than quote unquote?

            1. I find making the italics symbol with my fingers is much harder than flexing two fingers on each hand .

      2. What about the people who use “not okay”? And what about the people who use “problematic?”

        1. What you did there has visibility.

          On a high-resolution monitor.

        2. The problematic people will get icepicks to the skull long before the revolution commences.

          The not okay people will be bred out of the gene pool.

  22. Add them to the dictionary all you want, I’m not adding them to my vocabulary.

    1. But you’ll be othering all of the genderqueers!!

      1. I don’t speak whatever language that was.

  23. Gender reassignment: (noun) the act or process of changing from living as a person of one sex to living as a person of the opposite sex by undergoing surgery, hormone treatment, etc. to obtain the physical appearance of the opposite sex

    Changing physical characteristics is sex reassignment, not gender. A tranny with the old plumbing has undergone “gender reassignment” (I’m curious who’s out there assigning people’s genders, never mind reassigning them) but not “sexual reassignment”; a postop individual has undergone both.

    These people are so addled by fashionable language that they can’t even get the difference between sex and gender straight.

    1. I have seen SJWs honestly and earnestly argue the case that biological sex is a social construct.

      Or on the sarcastic side:

      “Of course they can’t keep them straight, that’s too heteronormative”

      /pukes on the ‘words’ used.

      1. Camille Paglia has recounted an argument she had 40 years ago with feminists who believed that hormones had no effect on gender differences.

        1. Vamps and tramps have an effect on hormones.

  24. So it’s no surprise that some are upset over what they see as the dictionary company capitulating to “social justice warriors.”

    As odious as the goals of Pol Pot’s ‘social justice warriors’ are, a word is a word is a word, and I assume that the gatekeepers of the dictionary (old white men, I presume) still use the same rules: how often it appears in the lexicon etc.

    So, let the irony abound, SJW’s, you’ve finally been accepted into the ranks of white European males.

    1. I actually look forward to setting actual definitions to these words so that it becomes more difficult to abuse them.

      1. I’ll leave that to the cisgendered, hetro patriarchs over at Merriam Webster.

      2. They’ll find a way

  25. Cisgender: (adj.) of, relating to, or being a person whose gender identity corresponds with the sex the person had or was identified as having at birth

    Nowhere does MW give the etymology… or even a clue as to what the fuck “cis-” is, means, or comes from.
    The link does, however, include a bunch of examples of it being used, including:

    An openly transgender woman and a cisgender (not transgendered) person of the same age, race and experience applied to work at dozens of retail stores in Manhattan. The cisgender person got eight job offers while the transgender woman received none. ? Ms., Spring 2010

    Dictionary fail.

    From wikipedia:

    Cisgender has its origin in the Latin-derived prefix cis-, meaning “on this side of”, which is an antonym for the Latin-derived prefix trans-, meaning “across from” or “on the other side of”.

    1. Isn’t “cisgender” just a pretentious way of saying “normal”?

      Seriously, give it a go. Substitute “normal” for “cisgender”, and I think it works every time.

      An openly transgender woman and a normal (not transgendered) person of the same age, race and experience applied to work at dozens of retail stores in Manhattan. The normal person got eight job offers while the transgender woman received none.

      Of course, the tone changes. “Cisgender” has the stink of disapproval on it, while “normal” wafts a pleasing aroma of approval.

      1. You sound like a breeder

        1. Actually, no. There seems to be a puzzling lack of women whom I find fitting to carry my seed.

      2. “Cisgender” isn’t just pretentious, it’s intended to be resentful and spiteful. It’s meant to replace the word “normal.”

        1. All it is is a more precise expression. “Normal” has various shades of meaning, including: “occurring naturally”.

          1. Using “normal” doesn’t seem to change the meaning of the sentence, so the additional “precision” doesn’t seem to add any content.

            As far as I can tell, the only differences are in the tone that is conveyed more subliminally. Which is fine, I suppose, if you want to go around advertising that you think people with a mental illness (“gender dysphoria”)* should be held up as exemplars, and the other 99% of the population should be denigrated.

            *I mean, if we’re being precise and all. Don’t think for an instant that I have a problem in principle with trans people. I don’t, any more than I have a problem with people with all sorts of other mental issues (OCD, autism, etc.). I go by how functional they are. One of the best appraisers I know has a pretty solid case of autism, as near as I can tell. He’s my go-to guy for appraisals. My contracts staff all has OCD to one degree or another; that’s why I hired them.

            1. Fun fact – in Germany the word for “straight” (“not gay”) is “normal”. Gays – who are currently not considered to be “mentally ill” – don’t take kindly to this.

              Like it or not, “normal” carries just as much baggage as these newfangled words.

              1. “normal” carries just as much baggage as these newfangled words.

                I know. Its just a matter of what kind of baggage you want to have to haul around. Me, I prefer not to use words that denigrate 99% of the people when there is a perfectly cromulent alternative to hand.

                1. I know. Its just a matter of what kind of baggage you want to have to haul around. Me, I prefer not to use words that denigrate 99% of the people when there is a perfectly cromulent alternative to hand.

                  But you haven’t established what is supposedly so “denigrating” about it, other than the fact that its usage was coined by people you don’t like.

                  1. But you haven’t established what is supposedly so “denigrating” about it, other than the fact that its usage was coined by people you don’t like.

                    It’s a bit of linguistic judo that works like this: a small minority wants to make itself look like less of a minority, less abnormal. So, they come up with a clinical-sounding word for everyone else.

                    It’s as if everyone not in a wheelchair had to be called “cis-ambulatees” or something. Or all non-libertarians were to be henceforth known as “libertyphobes” or “bureauphiles.”

                    1. It’s a bit of linguistic judo that works like this: a small minority wants to make itself look like less of a minority, less abnormal. So, they come up with a clinical-sounding word for everyone else.

                      Do you have the same objection to the word “heterosexual”?

                    2. “Heterosexual” gets grandfathered in.

              2. Fun fact – in Germany the word for “straight” (“not gay”) is “normal”.

                One of the (few?) features of German culture that their newest immigrants will embrace, I’m sure.

      3. Not so much disapproval but denial that such is a default state of affairs. It is the rejection of the notion that there is a normal condition. The purpose of the word is the purpose of Newspeak, to make that thought more difficult, if not impossible to convey in simple terms.

        1. Yeah, I never understood the militancy with which they’ve latched onto this cause that (1) is a recognized psychological disorder and (2) affects a miniscule fraction of a percent of the population.

          But KULCHER WOR, of course…

    2. Cis and trans are actually very useful terms in organic chemistry.

      1. Organic chem = science
        Organic chem uses “trans” and “cis”
        SJWs adopt “trans” and “cis” for their bizarre authoritarian agenda
        Therefore SJWing = science

        1. In Soviet Russia, Science SJW’s YOU!

    3. It says it’s from their “paid” version which includes “Expanded definitions, etymologies, and usage notes” – presumably the etymology is there.

  26. OK, libertarians, let’s get in on this Orwellian meme-war action. Let’s invent words for concepts we like, that we can get into the dictionary. Is “statist” there yet? Is our meaning of “slaver” there? Other suggestions, please.

    1. “Freedom”
      “Liberty”
      “Federalism”

      1. New words.

    2. The task of defining “slaver” should be assigned to an an-cap or thin libertarian and not too a bleeding heart or thick libertarian.

      1. and not too a . . . thick libertarian.

        I, too, support the “No fatties” rule.

    3. Woodchipping…

    4. muh

      1. All the “m” words:

        meh
        mulva
        ….

    5. Marketphobic

    6. Sissy-gendered

    7. Whine privilege

      1. Oh, I like that.

    8. Crybully

    9. State Dysphoric
      Political Partyqueer
      Constitutionally Cisrighted

    10. Whatcha say we steal the word “agoraphobic”?

      1. I’m thinking “penisphobic” could be applied to a significant subclass of SJWs, myself. As a setup for consciousness-raising, like this:

        “Don’t Fear the Penis”

        “The Penis Is Your Friend”

        Etc.

    11. Chubby hopeful. (adj)
      1. Hoping your hard-on gets used while you are still hard.
      2. Fat people wanting something really bad.

  27. The fuck is “Leave a promoted comment”?

    1. A monetization schema for transforming commenter ego (or trolling) into cash.

  28. Is “Adam’s apple” a sexist term?

  29. I believe a few years back Walker or someone with similarly elfin traits had an article about the origins of homophobe, which originally meant a man who feared being perceived as homosexual and overcompensated with hypermasculine bluff and bluster. Useful term.

    Once it caught on, it lost its original meaning and became a fashionable means of labeling anyone who disagreed with cultural acceptance of homosexuality, there -phobic became the easy and universal suffix of choice used to slur conservatives (though neo- has been catching on for the past few years in bizarre ways; calling a classical liberal a neo-liberal hurts my brain in ways that even cis- can’t).

    1. And I believe that led to the formation of “Islamophobe,” which now means “anyone who objects to anything at all related to Islam.”

  30. The aim is for Merriam-Webster dictionaries to reflect the way people currently talk, not preserve some pristine version of vocabulary.

    Okay. But, who the hell actually uses “cis-gender”, “genderqueer” or “gender identity” in the actual course of their speech other than people with a pretty clearly defined agenda?

    1. Do we include those who use such terms when mocking the people with a clearly defined agenda?

  31. I haven’t really looked at a dictionary in ages, but I was struck by the definitions given, not to words, but to phrases (“gender identity”, “gender reassignment”). That strikes me as odd. Once you start defining phrases, how do you pick which ones to define?

    And, I also find it odd that “gender reassignment” is a noun. Isn’t it an adjective (maybe a gerund), as in “gender reassignment surgery”?

    1. And, I also find it odd that “gender reassignment” is a noun.

      Why? -ment is the suffix we use to move the lexical class of a word from verb to noun, as it refers to the concept* of performing the action.

      *Remember the grade school adage (A noun is a person, place, thing, or idea).

      Isn’t it an adjective (maybe a gerund), as in “gender reassignment surgery”?

      Firstly, although English doesn’t have a true gerund, all examples of the English gerund are “-ing” forms. Secondly, the term “gerund” means “a nominalized verb” or, in other words, a verbal noun, which you stated previously you found odd. Now, yes, in the phrase “gender reassignment surgery” your grammar teacher would say “gender reassignment” is acting like a noun, as English allows for a noun to have an attributive sense when it is placed at the head of a noun phrase. However, that sense doesn’t carry over to “reassignment” when taken out of the phrase. Thus in “gender reassignment”, gender is a noun acting as an attributive adjective modifying the meaning of reassignment. Taken alone, “gender” “reassignment” and “surgery” are all nouns, yes? One of the cool things about language is that it has infinite recursion. I can keep adding nouns at the head of the noun-phrase to modify the phrase. Surgery. Reassignment surgery. Gender reassignment surgery. Feline gender reassignment surgery. etc..

      1. Further adding to the confusion is that in some languages, Greek and Latin specifically, adjectives were considered a sub-class of nouns that are contrasted with substantive nouns, and this tradition was carried over into English by prescriptive linguists who thought English should conform to Latin grammar.

      2. *your grammar teacher would say “gender reassignment” is acting like a noun,

        acting like an adjective

      3. All the faggy booklearning aside, I’m still scratching my head on the multi-word phrases getting “definitions”. I mean, I know it’s certainly not unprecedented, certainly with phrases of foreign origin where meaning is not obvious. But the word ‘gender’ by itself can be defined. ‘Re-assignment’ can certainly be defined, but putting them together hasn’t changed their core meaning.

        At least not any more than ‘Red Truck’ used as a phrase changes the meaning of Red (used alone) or Truck (used alone). Now, if Red Truck used as a phrase meant something entirely new that deviated significantly from the individual words used separately, I could see a case for a dictionary definition. You know, like tossing salads.

        1. In the case of “gender reassignment”, the word “gender” means “sex”.

          According to MW “gender” is a subjective, psychological phenomenon that defines the sex that one perceives or thinks oneself ought to be, while “sex” is one’s physical sex, the sort of thing that can be objectively determined by chromosomes and outward appearance.

          1. According to MW “gender” is a subjective, psychological phenomenon that defines the sex that one perceives or thinks oneself ought to be

            Does M-W consult scientists when they create definitions?

            1. Probably not. Or at least, not always. Or let me water that down to, “I doubt it”.

              The meaning of terms that appear in common usage, while maybe having a scientific meaning, don’t matter if the common usage has deviated from whatever scientific meaning a word may have started with. It’s why “irregardless” appears in the dictionary. Sure, they stick “nonstandard” in there, but it’s in there. And the last time I bothered to read how words got in the dictionary, it was usually based on countless hours of research, how often it’s used and accepted. Otherwise, every bullshit utterance would have to be included.

                1. That’s perfectly reasonable.

              1. It’s just frustrating when I hear, “Y’know that word you think means the plain, easy to understand concept ‘X’? Well, now it means this nonsensical jargon that only a few right thinking people understand.”

                It’s similar to the games that get played with legitimate words that sound scary to people, like “retarded.” It has a plain, easy to understand meaning, but because it is often used pejoratively, it’s banned from even its proper use.

                1. It’s just frustrating when I hear, “Y’know that word you think means the plain, easy to understand concept ‘X’? Well, now it means this nonsensical jargon that only a few right thinking people understand.”

                  I haven’t read HM’s link but I have in previous non-internet days read the methods that editorial boards use to place words in the dictionary. I suspect that MW is completely on the up-and-up wrt how these SJW phrases got in. Yes, they’re bullshit SJW phrases, but unfortunately, that’s not a metric for how things do or don’t get in. It’s usually how often they’re used, judgements are made on how they’re accepted, where they appear in the lexicon etc. It’s all very dry.

                  1. The lexicographers at M-W use a surprisingly old-fashioned form of corpus linguistics. Don’t they know that computers have been invented?

                    Anyway, as far as usage, 3 weeks ago, I attended a conference where someone who is on M-W’s “usage board” gave a plenary talk. (Justice Scalia used to be on the board) According to her, M-W sends out questionnaires, in which the members of the board rank the “acceptability” of a usage on a 5-point Likert scale. Now since the mean age of the members of usage board is around 65, her argument was that it skewed linguistically “conservative”.

                    1. It’s been my (limited) experience that dictionaries ALWAYS skew linguistically conservative. And to that end, I’m not even sure if their time hasn’t passed. Language is a wiki. Having editors for the language doesn’t make a whole lot of sense when you think about it, especially in the internet age. But without some prescription, grammar nazis would find themselves without work or authority to point to. Yeah, I ended that sentence in a preposition.

        2. Well, I’m not going to second-guess the lexicographers at M-W, but for “gender identity” at least, I would say it meets your specifications as they included two definitions for the term. It’s possible one might be familiar with one definition but not the other. Similarly, putting myself in the shoes of someone trying to learn the language, we don’t usually use the term “reassignment” for surgery. So defining the phrase in its totality seems perfectly “cromulent” to me.

          1. Frasmotic? Why it’s a common word down my way.

      4. I’m not in your league when it comes to grammar.

        It just sounds odd to me to say “I have a gender reassignment” rather than “I had gender reassignment surgery”. But I hear what you’re saying about stacking nouns where they act as modifiers (“knee surgery”). It seems odd that you can stack two nouns (“gender reassignment”), and they don’t really seem to be usable a noun anymore, just as a modifier/adjective.

        Language is far and away the best thing people have ever done, so I guess it should be no surprise that it doesn’t submit well to rules without exceptions.

        How common is it for dictionaries to define phrases, instead of actual words?

        1. How common is it for dictionaries to define phrases, instead of actual words?

          All the examples I can think of are where the individual words, when used together, convey a significantly different meaning when used together, than their individual parts. Or (see my post above) in cases of phrases of foreign origin in common usage where a non-english speaker has to be told both what the words mean and the specific meaning the phrase conveys when used. Like c’est la vie to name one example.

          1. replace ‘non-english’ with english-only

        2. It just sounds odd to me to say “I have a gender reassignment”

          *shrugs* “I had a rhinoplasty done.” “I had a gallbladder removal”. I don’t see the difference at the level of grammar. I agree it sounds odd, but that’s at the level of usage (i.e., pragmatics and stylistics). For a further example, take out the “re-“. “I had homework”, “I have three homework assignments”, “I have three assignments”, “I have an assignment”. All of those seem perfectly fine, no?

          It seems odd that you can stack two nouns (“gender reassignment”), and they don’t really seem to be usable a noun anymore, just as a modifier/adjective.

          This is where I don’t get your argument. I can think of many everyday examples: “sports, car, sports car, I have a sports car”. “office, desk, office desk, The office desks are cheap.” “Navy, officer, Navy officer, At Annapolis there is a school for Navy officers.”

          How common is it for dictionaries to define phrases, instead of actual words?

          I have an abridged version of the OED by my desk. I opened to a random page. On a page with about 45 words, I can see “Circular breathing”, “circular function”, “circular polarization”, “circular saw”, “circulating decimal”, “circulating library”, and “circulatory system”.

          1. This is where I don’t get your argument.

            “”I had a gallbladder removal””

            Gallbladder removal isn’t in the dictionary. Sorry, HM, I know you’re making very technical arguments about noun usage and “verbing nouns” which I’m not arguing. Like Stephen Fry, I have no problems with verbing nouns.

            But “gallbladder removal” isn’t in the dictionary because we didn’t need to define it as a phrase. Cholecystectomy, on the other hand, is in the dictionary.

            1. That’s two different arguments. I’m addressing Dean’s question about the use of “gender reassignment” as the object of a verb (in English, as you know, only a noun, pronoun, or noun phrase can be the object of a verb or preposition).

              1. Why can’t you make all the arguments at once… like 3d chess?

                1. Why can’t you make all the arguments at once.

                  Ok…

                  P(A | B) = P(B | A) * P(A)/ P(B)

                  1. I guess if I’m going to write it that way, I need brackets for order of operations…

                    P(A | B) = [P(B | A) * P(A)]/ P(B)

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  36. Genderqueer: (adj.) of, relating to, or being a person whose gender identity cannot be categorized as solely male or female

    I’d say that definition is making a political statement. I can certainly categorize people as either solely male or female. Let me offer a different definition.

    Genderqueer: (adj.) of, relating to, or being a person who claims that his or her gender identity cannot be categorized as solely male or female

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