12 December 2016

Add it to the dictionary! Changing language, changing culture

This short article about Merriam-Webster's addition of 'genderqueer' to their dictionary is really useful for thinking about how language changes over time to describe our changing cultural worlds. According to the Hufftington Post, the dictionary's
commitment to adding new queer terms and language to the dictionary, and discussing them on social media, follows the evolution of culture.
“The set of terms relating to gender and sexuality that we’ve added in recent years is like any other; as established members of the language ― we have evidence of these terms in published, edited text from a variety of sources and over an extended period of time ― they meet our criteria for entry,” Emily Brewster, Merriam-Webster Associate Editor, told The Huffington Post. “We would be remiss not to define them.”
What does the emergence of new words tell us about our changing cultural world -- in this case about how we understand and express our gender and sexuality?

Quick links and further reading: