Hurray for the word-loving lexicographers at Merriam-Webster! Yes, it’s awesome that one of the leading English-language dictionary’s has added “the state of being united to a person of the same sex in a relationship like that of a traditional marriage” to its definition of marriage, but of course, all they’re doing is reflecting a contemporary usage of the word.
What’s really awesome is the way it upsets wingnut crazies on the web, despite the fact that based on comments like “God doez not luv u gehs! Git rite with Jesus!!!ONEONEONE”, we’re pretty sure they would not know a dictionary if it showed up at their doorstep and started reading them- A to Z.
The award for most unintentionally hilarious outrage to the news that “marriage” has been literally redefined comes from YouTube user Eric B., who know how to use ethereal and funereal chords to great effect:
So sad, so very sad. Anyway, as we pointed out, dictionary’s change definitions based on usage, not because their ivy-league schooled ivory towers of academic privilege. Just ask Webster’s associate editor Kory Stampe, who says of the fracas:
“We often hear from people who believe that we are promoting – or perhaps failing to promote – a particular social or political agenda when we make choices about what words to include in the dictionary and how those words should be defined. We hear such criticism from all parts of the political spectrum. We’re genuinely sorry when an entry in – or an omission from – one of our dictionaries is found to be offensive or upsetting, but we can’t allow such considerations to deflect us from our primary job as lexicographers.
In recent years, this new sense of ‘marriage’ has appeared frequently and consistently throughout a broad spectrum of carefully edited publications, and is often used in phrases such as ‘same-sex marriage’ and ‘gay marriage’ by proponents and opponents alike. Its inclusion was a simple matter of providing our readers with accurate information about all of the word’s current uses.”
Which is why we all need to keep on working the word “santorum” into conversations, people.