I’m not sure at what point the folks at Merriam-Webster decided it’d be a good idea to become snarky, partisan, liberal hacks, but that time is evidently here.
Merriam-Webster as an organization is a useless novelty at this point. They have nothing of substance left to offer today’s consumers. But rather than fade off into obscurity amid a picturesque sunset that might arguably be due the once-storied institution, they’ re going the route of “The Daily Show,” George Takei, and Colin Kaepernick: “Let’s be total jerks and see if we can’t get a sliver of that ‘angry liberal’ market to help line our pockets for a few more desperate years.”
For these narrow-minded people, it’s probably not even about political activism. My guess is that they, like so many, are simply trying to “be cool” for the institutional left (Hollywood, academia, and media). If you aspire to be anywhere near these bastions of illiberal groupthink, then you better be as mean, snarky, intolerant, angry, and intellectually dishonest as possible when commenting on today’s political and social goings-on. Anything short of total hatred for the other half of the nation who have the gall to see things differently is tantamount to adopting Hitlerian invective and punishable by social and professional lynching.
That’s my guess: It’s not because the millennials running the Merriam-Webster Twitter account and “Trend Watch” section of their website are actually progressive warriors committed to the regressive brand of “social justice” that so many who love them subscribe to, it’ s just because they’re lazy, and trying to “be cool” so John Fugelsang or Patton Oswalt will give them a nod here or there. “Guys quick, wake up. Hey, Patton Oswalt just tweeted about us. I told you this day would come. We made it.”
Here’s sampling of the perpetually pro-left, anti-right characterizations the world saw from Merriam-Webster already in 2017.
📈'Anathema' is trending as religious leaders respond to Trump's order on refugees. https://t.co/icQCfRzPLC
— Merriam-Webster (@MerriamWebster) January 30, 2017
*whispers into the void* In contemporary use, fact is understood to refer to something with actual existence. https://t.co/gCKRZZm23c
— Merriam-Webster (@MerriamWebster) January 24, 2017
FACT: Merriam-Webster was once a revered institution, devoid of political snark and gamesmanship, bringing people together through shared enthusiasm for the single greatest conduit to unity in existence: Language.
ALTERNATIVE FACT: Merriam-Webster is now run by snarky liberals who don’t mind pissing away generations of credibility if it means getting a few of their own hyper-political potshots in along the way (potshots that are totally useless and almost immediately forgotten by everyone but those they repel, mind you).
You see, Merriam-Webster President John Morse, Chief Digital Officer Lisa Schneider, and Twitter-giddy Merriam-Webster liberals Hillary Hoffman, Kory Stamper, and Peter Sokowlowski: Both facts exist. The initial fact, and the alternative fact. They’re both true. That reality hasn’t caused the universe to collapse on itself.
All you needed was a shred of intellectual honesty to land on it. But you can’t be bothered with that. No, no—the folks at Merriam-Webster today are too busy making the world an angrier, more divided place to be bothered with intellectual honesty. They’re too busy inspiring division and promoting partisan, intellectual dishonesty to be bothered with working from the middle to help mitigate what’s become a seemingly endless atmosphere of divisive, partisan politics.
Enough of Twitter. Let’s take a look at a recent edition of just the first page from Merriam-Webster’s “Trend Watch” on their website.
But hey, it’s not all bad news.
So Kellyanne Conway hates women but isn’t quite evil (yet) and President Trump is an idiot (and corrupt and evil), while Sen. Elizabeth Warren is a hero and Barack Obama wants the left to know “Atta boy!” Do we have that about right, Merriam-Webster?
It would’ve been slick if the stewards of Merriam-Webster’s legacy treated it with a modicum of thoughtfulness. No, not the kind of thoughtfulness that recognizes today’s “progressives” as extremely regressive amid the bigotry and segregation (blacks, Hispanics, gays, women, Muslims) they promote; the anti-free speech intolerance they enable; the hate, racism, pain, and division they thrive off and create. Not that kind of thoughtfulness.
I just mean the kind that might’ve had them take a few steps back and consider, “We’re Merriam-Webster, and language is the greatest conduit to unity in existence. Maybe, as the once-great arbiters of defining language, we should avoid using it in a way that promotes division and slaps half of our English-speaking audience in the face.” That kind of thoughtfulness would’ve been nice.
But alas, it wasn’t meant to be, because they hired some hipster to run their Twitter account, and that 22-year-old “genius” is just certain that cozying up to the intolerant, intellectually inbred left is what Merriam-Webster should really be about.
As if Merriam-Webster’ s descent in to obscurity wasn’t going to be painful enough, now they’re riding it out with a decidedly partisan tilt that will relegate them, worse than obscurity, to partisan, political hackery. Sad!