As culture continues to evolve toward greater acceptance of LGBTQ, the way we approach language has become an increasingly interesting debate over the last few decades. But today, a word as small as "they" has managed to earn a major prize in the pages of the dictionary.
On Tuesday (Dec. 10), Merriam-Webster announced that their word of the year was the pronoun "they." The dictionary expanded their original definition of the word back in September, adding a new entry that reads "used to refer to a single person whose gender identity is nonbinary." According to the dictionary, searches for the term increased by 313% in 2019.
"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," the dictionary wrote in its official announcement. "There's no doubt that its use is established in the English language, which is why it was added to the Merriam-Webster.com dictionary this past September."