There truly is a holiday for everything, and today is Dictionary Day. The origin of this holiday seems legit enough – Noah Webster was born October 16, 1758. He didn’t publish the first version of his dictionary until 1806.
Fun fact: I’ve always imagined Mr. Merriam and Mr. Webster as old college pals, nerding it up together over an early version of Scrabble. Turns out I was wrong all around. Scrabble wasn’t invented until the 1930s (by a man named Alfred Mosher Butts, no less). And “Merriam” refers to two brothers, Charles and George, who bought the rights to Webster’s dictionary from his estate after he died, hence Merriam-Webster. (The dictionary is now owned by Encyclopedia Britannica. Which, yes, is apparently still a thing.)
But enough history. Let’s look at the Merriam-Webster dictionary as it currently lives its best life, like the rest of us, on Twitter. Whether helping us understand politically-charged words such as “complicit”:
📈'Complicit' is trending after Ivanka Trump told CBS "I don’t know what it means to be complicit." https://t.co/qE6UcB8pUz
— Merriam-Webster (@MerriamWebster) April 4, 2017
or shaming people for complaining about female ghostbusters.
Trust us: the feminine form of 'ghostbuster' is 'ghostbuster'.
— Merriam-Webster (@MerriamWebster) July 15, 2016
Sometimes, M-W even takes time out to troll other dictionaries:
.@Dictionarycom There's no cream in that coffee.
— Merriam-Webster (@MerriamWebster) April 11, 2016
Apparently they thought we all had a wild Saturday because on Sunday, they had the perfect #WordoftheDay:
— Merriam-Webster (@MerriamWebster) October 14, 2018
They also offer history lessons, grammar primers, and quizzes so there’s something for all types of Word Nerds.
But me, I’m here for their snark.
The modern 'snark' is a back-formation from the earlier 'snarky,' which began being used around the turn of the 20th century. https://t.co/zUiZWbMaVZ
— Merriam-Webster (@MerriamWebster) September 19, 2018
There are, of course, many other fabulous dictionaries. But you’ll continue to see me refer to M-W as my BFF. Because I agree with them that #WordsMatter.