New dictionary words, because language

I absolutely love Merriam-Webster’s Word Matters podcast. Its most recent episode is about their addition of 455 new words into the dictionary. Notes about a few of them:

Peter Sokolowski: “Well, there’s no question that the favorite, the darling of this batch is the word ‘fluffernutter,’ and everybody loves that word, and I do too. It’s a fun word to say.”
Emily Brewster: “I did not write this definition and I really love that it specifies the white sandwich bread. If somebody is making you your fluffernutter on whole grain bread, they are doing it wrong.”

Peter Sokolowski: [I] like the term whataboutism that we added to this batch as well because the definition is the act or practice of responding to an accusation of wrongdoing by claiming that an offense committed by another is similar or worse.
Emily Brewster: Yes, and we also entered in British English, they don’t say whataboutism, they say whataboutery.

Emily Brewster: “Sounds like a phrase; it’s a single word. It’s slang. It’s used in writing for the phrase ‘Am I right?’ to represent or imitate the use of this phrase as a tag question in informal speech. It’s the second time in recent history that we have entered a word that is primarily a written form. I think it was just a few months ago that we entered the spelling of folx, F-O-L-X.”
Peter Sokolowski: “But you can’t tell by just hearing it.”
Emily Brewster: “Nope. Doesn’t work in speech, right? You have to see it for it to really do its job. The word F-O-L-X and F-O-L-K-S sound exactly the same, just as ‘amirite’ and “am I right.” You can say it with a nod that kind of implies that you’re using this single word spelling, but it’s a written form.”

the prepositional use of because
Emily Brewster: “It’s the use of because that you see when someone says, ‘This very technical process works, because technology.’ So traditionally, ‘because’ functions as a conjunction, it joins together phrases or clauses, but this is a new use of because. It’s very informal. It’s very useful. We say in our definition that it is often used in a humorous way to convey vagueness about the exact reasons for something. I like it. Don’t go using it in your term papers.”

This one made me LOL, because I have employed this usage of “because” in one of my exercise check-ins: “I always carry a knife in my pocket; you know, because cheesecake.”

If you love words or if you have an “attitude” about what words should or should not be in the dictionary (e.g., irregardless), you’ll enjoy this 28.5-minute episode—and you’ll learn a few things about how words “make it” into the dictionary. Spoiler alert: It has nothing to do with whether you like them or not. 😂

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