Mer­riam-Web­ster dic­tionary adds non­bi­nary pro­noun ‘they’

The Morning Call - - NATION & WORLD -

WASH­ING­TON — Mer­riam-Web­ster added a new def­i­ni­tion of the word “they” to its dic­tionary, declar­ing the pro­noun may be used to re­fer to a “sin­gle per­son whose gen­der iden­tity is non­bi­nary.”

Mer­riam-Web­ster’s an­nounce­ment, made on Twit­ter on Tues­day, marked an of­fi­cial stamp of ap­proval on a term that has be­come in­creas­ingly com­mon as non­bi­nary iden­ti­ties be­come more vis­i­ble than ever.

State and city gov­ern­ments have be­gun of­fer­ing a gen­der op­tion of “X” on iden­ti­fi­ca­tion cards. Air­lines, school dis­tricts and col­leges na­tion­wide are also al­low­ing al­ter­na­tive gen­der mark­ers.

The new def­i­ni­tion of “they” was among 530 new words added to the dic­tionary, Mer­ri­amWeb­ster said Tues­day, and also in­cluded “deep state,” “dad joke” and “free solo.”

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