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Merriam Webster updates tech word list—and you will believe which ones were added

Sam Machkovech
Not very popular, apparently. Clearly Merriam-Webster doesn't do A/B tests.
Merriam-Webster
The dictionary makers at Merriam-Webster continue sticking to their once-a-year schedule of dumping a load of new English words into its database. The 2017 slew landed on Tuesday, a little earlier than recent years' March and April announcements. It seems the editors had a particular emphasis on technology words.
The full list, apparently counting 1,000-plus words, was not published, but Merriam-Webster's announcement page highlights quite a few terms that have become commonplace over the years at Ars. Obnoxious Web mainstays like "clickbait" and "listicle" now have their own official entries—not to be confused with "click fraud," a decades-old practice that Merriam-Webster finally recognizes as of today. Other ancient tech terms that finally received dictionary recognition in 2017 include "open source," "peer-to-peer," "ping," "rootkit," "keylogger," and "backward compatible." (Perhaps you'd call it ironic that the dictionary's entry for "NSFW" is absolutely safe to click on at work.)
The most topical tech term on this year's list is arguably "net neutrality," which Merriam-Webster defines as follows: "the idea, principle, or requirement that Internet service providers should or must treat all Internet data as the same regardless of its kind, source, or destination." Like most words and phrases in Merriam-Webster's database, it includes a context quote, which, weirdly, describes the term as hard-to-define: "...a philosophical contest that's being fought under the banner of 'net neutrality,' a slogan that inspires rhetorical devotion but eludes precise definition. Broadly, it means everything on the Internet should be equally accessible—that the Internet should be a place where great ideas compete on equal terms with big money."
A topical technical term that did not make the cut, on the other hand, is "Internet of things," though maybe that's just Merriam-Webster throwing shade on the burgeoning industry. (Oh, and yes, "throw shade" is now in the database.)
Science and health received their own word-list updates. The trademarked term "EpiPen" is probably highest on that list, above complex terms such as such as "CRISPR" (a tool for the rapid genetic engineering of organisms), "phytoremediation" (a method of organic waste treatment), and "prosopagnosia" (a disorder that impairs a person's ability to recognize human faces). If scientific terminology isn't your thing, you can go the opposite direction and turn your Merriam-Webster cap backwards by using newly added terms like "side-eye" and "weak sauce."
The announcement is paired with a promotion that wants to pair the database's newest words with animated GIFs, but Merriam-Webster did not take that opportunity to draw an important line in the sand. The dictionary still lists two pronunciations for the word, which it spells out as "gif" and "jif"—a fact that itself is confusing, considering a phonetic approximation for the hard-G sound is better typed as "ghif." My incredibly educated guess is that Merriam and Webster must be two real people who cannot agree on this point. Pick a side, people.
Merriam Webster updates tech word list—and you will believe which ones were added Reviewed by Chidinma C Amadi on 12:53 AM Rating: 5

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