What’s In A Word? A Lot.

In reference to the story on PJ Media


Dear Merriam-Webster Corporate Directors, 

In direct opposition to your recent changing of the definition of the word preference in order to achieve a political goal, I am deeply offended and explicitly angry that an institution such as yours would allow a word to be redefined overnight without any apparent consensus or explanation, and what appears to be directed by activism.

Further, that you have taken the word “preference” and suited it to reflect a political viewpoint that had only just been expressed during a Supreme Court confirmation hearing, reflecting the opinion of Senator Hirono, who had opined on her subjective concerns regarding the supposedly offensive nature of the word preference – as interpreted by some members of the LGBTQ community, according to Hirono.

Who gave approval for the revised definition of the word preference as listed in the Merriam-Webster Dictionary? And for what specific reason why was this decision only recently made? Was it, in fact, determined merely by the utterance of a sitting U.S. Senator? Are members of Congress now determining the definition of words?

If it was politically motivated, does this now reflect the philosophy of Merriam-Webster moving forward, where words will be redefined based on subjective political views?

Will other words, in an Orwellian fashion, be removed or erased based on the offensive nature of such words? and by what standards will you apply these new rules?

Who will decide what is deemed offensive?, who will be allowed to add new definitions that may or may not reflect actual common or accepted usage?

Since your Dictionary serves as a primary resource for millions of educational institutions worldwide, it must uphold critical and historically accepted standards of accuracy. To add new definitions based on the political or emotionally-driven whims of the day is to undermine the very credibility of Merriam Webster.

You have become Wikipedia overnight by your knee-jerk actions, which appears now subject to consensus and political motivation.

Please correct your error, or explain your actions while you still have time to prevent your reputation from being forever tarnished.

Jim Watkins

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