Merriam-Webster announced Tuesday that the personal pronoun was its 2019 Word of the Year, noting that the tiny, unassuming word had undergone a rather radical transformation in usage in recent years - and found itself at the heart of some wide-ranging cultural conversations in the process.
Emily Brewster, a senior editor at Merriam-Webster, said in a statement: "Pronouns are among the language's most commonly used words, and like other common words (think go, do, and have) they tend to be mostly ignored by dictionary users".
The dictionary only added the nonbinary definition of "they" to its pages in September, but said that searches for the word were up by 313 percent this year over last year.
And the Merriam-Webster runners-up to word of the year? As Merriam-Webster writes, "English famously lacks a gender-neutral singular pronoun to correspond neatly with singular pronouns like everyone or someone, and as a outcome they has been used for this objective for over 600 years".
Fox News Flash top headlines for December 10 are here.
And in September of this year, Grammy-award winning singer-songwriter Sam Smith announced their decision to use gender neutral pronouns.
Even The Associated Press, after years of hanging on to its prohibition of the singular they despite increasing criticism, somewhat reluctantly decided in 2017 to allow reporters and copy editors to use the singular, nonbinary version of the word. And Congresswoman Pramila Jayapal spoke about her gender-nonconforming child, who uses "they", during a House Judiciary Committee hearing on the Equality Act.
Jaguar I-Pace to get range-boosting software update
More energy is recovered at lower speed, and energy recuperation is now more efficient when the battery is fully charged. After receiving the latest software, more electronic modules will be able to receive remote updates.
Russian supply ship docks with International Space Station
The capsule additionally has a big, round robotic head with artificial intelligence and the power to sense astronauts' emotions. An unmanned Russian ship carrying tons of supplies successfully docked Monday with the International Space Station.
Turkey joins Nobel ceremony boycott in protest against Handke
Gun-Britt Sundstrom said the choice of Handke had been interpreted as if literature stood above politics and she did not agree. We all know who's guilty", wrote Amanpour, the chief global anchor for CNN who covered the war as a young reporter.
When the word was added, Merriam-Webster revealed that it had evidence in its files of the nonbinary "they" dating back to 1950.
"Through the dictionary, we see proof that words matter, whether we are discussing national politics or personal identity", Peter Sokolowski, Merriam-Webster editor-at-large, said.
"There is a long road ahead before language, policy and culture are completely affirming and inclusive", Adams said.
Merriam-Webster noted that, this year in particular, curiosity about the word skyrocketed.
"Camp", the theme of the Metropolitan Museum of Art's annual gala in the spring, also spiked, while "the" trended when The Ohio State University failed attempt to patent the word to protect its turf.
Also in the mix: "snitty", which emerged on the lips of Attorney General William Barr in reference to a letter by Robert Mueller about a summary Barr wrote of the Mueller report.
The selection is determined by data and must have been a top lookup at Merriam-Webster.com in the past twelve months.