Merriam-Webster gets spicy and political with new dictionary words
" Alt-right" is defined as "a right-wing, primarily online political movement or grouping based in the US whose members reject mainstream conservative politics and espouse extremist beliefs and policies typically centered on ideas of white nationalism."
In this light, " troll" gets a new meaning: "to antagonize (others) online by deliberately posting inflammatory, irrelevant, or offensive comments or other disruptive content" and "to harass, criticize, or antagonize (someone) especially by provocatively disparaging or mocking public statements, postings, or acts."
We also have " dog whistle" of canine origin, which, in a political context, gets the additional meaning: "an expression or statement that has a secondary meaning intended to be understood only by a particular group of people."
Moving on to technology, Merriam-Webster finally takes on board two terms that have dominated headlines in the past few years.
First, the " Internet of Things" or "IoT", defined as "the networking capability that allows information to be sent to and received from objects and devices (such as fixtures and kitchen appliances) using the Internet."
Then, the dictionary offers a definition of " ransomware" as "malware that requires the victim to pay a ransom to access encrypted file."
There are also new business and sport terms that have been in use for a while, such as " onboarding" and " bunny." Now " Hive Mind," which started as a biological term to describe colonies of bees and ants, has evolved to define "the collective thoughts, ideas, and opinions of a group of people (such as Internet users) regarded as functioning together as a single mind."
Let's get to a spicy conclusion with " sriracha," which is defined as "a pungent sauce that is made from hot peppers pureed with usually garlic, sugar, salt, and vinegar and that is typically used as a condiment."
“Our job as lexicographers is to follow the development of language, defining the words people are likely to encounter. These new words have been added to the dictionary because they have established themselves in the English language, and are part of the current, active vocabulary of America.”