Merriam-Webster's Word Of The Year Is The Gender-Neutral Pronoun 'They'

The pronoun used by non-binary people who identify as neither male nor female – has been named as word of the year by US dictionary Merriam-Webster.

Merriam-Webster has named "they" as its word of the year.

The word has been highlighted to depict the increase in people exercising their right to choose the pronoun by which they are identified, regardless of their sex at birth – such as “they” instead of “she” or “he.”

Searches for "they" on Merriam-Webster's website were 313% higher this year than they were in 2018.

Two months ago, the dictionary added the word “they” as a non-binary pronoun that can refer to just one person.

Runners-up for word of the year included “quid pro quo,” “impeach” and “crawdad,” the latter a word in the title of Delia Evans best-selling novel, “Where the Crawdads Sing.”

“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,” the website said, adding that searches for “they” jumped 313% in a year.

Non-binary, also known as genderqueer, is a catch-all category for gender identities that are not exclusively masculine or feminine‍.

A non-binary person may express a combination of masculinity and femininity, or neither, in their gender expression.

Nonbinary people are enjoying increased representation on television and in pop culture.

Among them is British artist Sam Smith, who recently revealed a preference for “they/them” pronouns “after a lifetime of being at war with my gender.”

Main image by @samsmith

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