USA linguists named ‘they’ the word of the decade

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Linguists from the American Dialect Society have announced that the pronoun ‘they’ used in a singular meaning to address a person whose gender identity does not fit into the male and female binary. The society’s 350 members voted on January 3, and presiding over the voting session Ben Zimmer, chair of the American Dialect Society’s new words committee, said that when pronouns indicate the social picture of the modern society, the language specialists simply cannot leave them unnoticed. The American Dialect Society was founded in 1889, and began choosing words of the year in 1990, making it one of the first organizations to do so. According to the society, the Word of the Year/ Decade “is interpreted in its broader sense as ‘vocabulary item’—not just words but phrases”. The phrase of the year 2019 is “my pronouns are….” Other options for Word of the Decade included “#blacklivesmatter”, “meme”, “woke” and “#metoo”. Contenders for the 2019 Word of the Year included “OK Boomer“, “cancel” and “Karen”.

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