Merriam-Webster added the nonbinary pronoun “they” to their dictionary back in September. Now they are naming it the word of the year. According to the dictionary’s website, searches for the term have risen by 313 percent in the last year.
Emily Brewster, 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. But over the past year or so, as people have increasingly encountered the nonbinary use, we’ve seen searches for ‘they’ grow dramatically.” She also adds, “People were clearly encountering this new use and turning to the dictionary for clarity and for usage guidance.”
Other words that top their list for 2019 include Quid pro quo, the, snitty, and impeach.