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Merriam Webster Upsets Conservatives with Updated Definition of Marriage

Conservatives have their tidy whiteys all twisted because (ZOMG) the nation’s most popular dictionary updated the definition of marriage.  Guess what, language gets updated all the time, that’s why there are new editions of dictionaries. *facepalm jpg*

 Merriam Webster added a new definition of marriage in 2003

the state of being united to a person of the same sex in a relationship like that of a traditional marriage

but as Andrew Sullivan points out, conservatives seem to have just noticed it. One guy got so upset about the "homosexual agenda" he made a video about it (above). So let’s learn about etymology

Dear Conservative Wingnut Freaks:

Language evolves and changes as usage evolves and changes. The actual meaning of "apocalypse" in Greek, the language used to write the New Testament at one point,  is "revelation" not "end of the world;" but in popular usage, it’s come to mean a really intense final kaboom, and thus the word in the dictionary now comes with that definition.

How about "corn"? In England for centuries "corn"referred to all grains, and "corned beef" got its name because it was cured with coarse grains of salt, not because it has any seeds in the recipe. Eventually because of the discovery of what we call now "corn" (the kind on the cob) when the Spaniards and Pilgrims arrived in different parts of the Americas, there became a differentiation and "grain" was eventually used to refer to weensy little pieces of dirt and other things like salt, and to dried seeds of  plants used to make flour. "Corn" became defined to be the stuff that grown on cobs, or on your feet if your shoes are too tight, which is from the French for horn (and shall we discuss "horny"?). If something is "corny" though it doesn’t taste of corn–it is an old stale joke.

So realize things evolve–oh wait thats dirty word to you, too.

Sincerely,

La Figa

And here’s what Webster Associate Editor Kory Stamper told Sullivan:

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…In recent years, this new sense of ‘marriage’ has appeared frequently and consistently throughout a broad spectrum of carefully edited publications … Its inclusion was a simple matter of providing our readers with accurate information about all of the word’s current uses.

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Lisa Derrick

Lisa Derrick

Los Angeles native, attended UC Berkeley and Loyola Marymount University before punk rock and logophilia overtook her life. Worked as nightclub columnist, pop culture journalist and was a Hollywood housewife before writing for and editing Sacred History Magazine. Then she discovered the thrill of politics. She also appears frequently on the Dave Fanning Show, one of Ireland's most popular radio broadcasts.

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