Dictionary.com adds Black, as it refers to a person, in massive update around definitions that reflect culture, identity, and race By Leah Asmelash, CNN
Updated 9:00 AM ET, Tue September 1, 2020
(CNN)"Afro-Latinx." "Deadname." "Janky." These are just some of the many terms now on Dictionary.com.
The dictionary website announced an update of more than 15,000 entries, refining and adding terms specifically related to race, identity, sexual orientation, and mental health.
"The work of a dictionary is more than just adding new words. It's an ongoing effort to ensure that how we define words reflects changes in language—and life," said John Kelly, a senior editor at Dictionary.com, in a news release.
"Among our many new entries are thousands of deeper, dictionary-wide revisions that touch us on our most personal levels: how we talk about ourselves and our identities, from race to sexual orientation to mental health. Our revisions are putting people, in all their rich humanity, first, and we're extremely proud of that."
It capitalizes Black
The update includes the capitalization of Black, an increasingly popular move by many websites and news organizations as White America begins to reckon with race.
The website called the move "a mark of respect and recognition that's in line with capitalizing other cultures and ethnicities." It also added terms like Afro-Latina, Afro-Latino, Afro-Latinx, brownface, Filipina, Filipinx, Pinay, Pinoy and Pinxy.
It replaces 'homosexual'
In the update, the word "gay" replaced "homosexual," and "gay sexual orientation" replaced "homosexuality." The decision was made to remove "the implication of a medical diagnosis, sickness, or pathology when describing normal human behaviors and ways of being," Dictionary.com said in its release.
The website added other LGBTQ terms as well, including "ace," "asexual," "deadname" and "gender-inclusive."
It updates language around suicide
Dictionary.com also updated its language around suicide -- replacing its previous wording of "commit suicide" with "die by suicide" or "end one's life."
There were some fun additions, too, like the acronym "GOAT," or greatest of all time, and "amirite" (the website used it in a sentence for convenience: "College admissions essays are exercises in creative writing, amirite?!")
Here's a look at more of the added terms:
ace: an asexual. Afro-Latina: of or relating to Black Latinas with African ancestry. Afro-Latino: of or relating to Black Latinos with African ancestry. Afro-Latinx: of or relating to Black Latinx with African ancestry (used in place of the masculine form Afro-Latino or the feminine form Afro-Latina). alcohol use disorder: a chronic relapsing disorder characterized by alcohol abuse or dependence, as compulsive use of alcoholic beverages, the development of physical or psychological symptoms upon reducing or ceasing intake, and decreased ability to function socially and professionally. amirite: an informal variant spelling of the phrase "am I right" used to elicit agreement or solidarity at the end of an observation, or used facetiously to undermine or mock the preceding observation. assistance animal: an animal that is able to provide physical or emotional assistance to a person living with a disability, as alerting a deaf person to the sound of a doorbell. biromantic: noting or relating to a person who is romantically attracted to people of two specific and distinct gender identities, as both men and women. brownface: imitation of a minority group member's appearance, speech, traditional dress, etc., by a person who is not a member of that group. deadname: the previous name of someone who has changed that name, especially the pretransition first name of a trans person. dead white male: one of a group of white male writers, scientists, or other historical figures whose works have traditionally dominated the field or been a disproportionate part of the school curriculum in the West. DGAF: to not care at all (a euphemistic initialism used to indicate an indifferent or unbothered attitude, without explicit vulgarity). ecoanxiety: anxiety caused by a dread of environmental perils, especially climate change, and a feeling of helplessness over the potential consequences for those living now and even more so for those of later generations. emotional labor: the sum of small acts performed by one person to make other people's lives more pleasant and to protect them from negativity, including hiding the effort required to do so. Filipinx: of or relating to natives or inhabitants of the Philippines (used in place of the masculine form Filipino or the feminine form Filipina). gender-inclusive: relating to or intended for any gender; gender-neutral. GOAT: greatest of all time. jabroni: a stupid, foolish, or contemptible person; loser. janky: untrustworthy; disreputable. MeToo: a social media hashtag of solidarity used by survivors of sexual harassment and sexual assault in a public disclosure of a past or current personal experience in order to demonstrate the prevalence of abuse: Pinxy: of or relating to natives or inhabitants of the Philippines (used in place of the masculine form Pinoy or the feminine form Pinay); Filipinx. sharent: a parent who frequently shares such personal information on social media. swole: (especially of a man) very muscular. techlash: a strong negative reaction or backlash against the largest technology companies, or their employees or products. trans+: of or relating to people with gender expressions outside traditional norms, as transgender, genderqueer, agender, or nonbinary. Twitch: the proprietary name of a livestreaming video platform, primarily delivering video game content with audio commentary and concurrent online chat among viewers. whitesplain: (of a white person) to comment on the minority experience or explain racism to a person of color in a condescending or blaming way, as to point out accommodating behaviors that the victim of racism might have adopted to diffuse interracial conflict. zhuzh: to make (something) more lively and interesting, stylish, or appealing, as by a small change or addition (usually followed by up).
14. "Right. I hope he comes back to the post to clarify." In response to Reply # 10 Wed Sep-02-20 10:37 AM by kfine
I think that was it tho. It's pretty close to my preferred system as well, which I think I'll stick with until it becomes untenable to do so...
Like, I use the term 'Black Americans' to refer to to Black American DOS specifically, and 'black Americans' to refer to both Black Americans and other naturalized black immigrant groups (eg. Black Nigerian-Americans, Black Haitian-Americans, etc). I guess I avoid using 'Black' on its own when possible because it's subject to misinterpretation, but if I'm reading an article and see 'Black' on its own, my default assumption would be the author is talking about Black Americans (although this is usually not the case).
The only challenge I have with my system is that I'd consider the correct use of 'African-American' to be an umbrella term for *all* members of the global black diaspora settled in the US... so including Black Americans, Black Jamaican-Americans, Black Kenyan-Americans, etc. But 'African-Americans' is traditionally understood to mean Black Americans in the US. So I just avoid using 'African-Americans' too, despite what I feel it should mean. Most of my Black American friends (note: I'm a daughter of Black African immigrants) do not wish to be called African-American, and were pretty instrumental in helping me see the trauma they percieve in that label.
Maybe I should switch to always capitalizing Black, but hyphenate Black-American?? Does Black-American get used anywhere?
I don't think it's a bad thing that MSM are thinking about this, tho. And I think capitalizing both 'Black' and 'White' makes sense, despite preferring that a capitalized American be used at the end for specificity.
>I remember you advocating for capital B, but my recollection >was that was just for African-Americans, with mere skin color >descriptive "black" remaining lowercase...or am I wrong? > >If I'm right, what are your thoughts on the way this is >actually being implemented (capital B for all usages of Black >describing skin color, from any origin.). >
9. "white...ahem, White people are going to have to go through this too" In response to Reply # 0
it occurred to me recently and I even wrote a post and then never posted it because...reasons.
essentially, I realized it needs (yes, needs) to happen to/for them because as a people they are
LOST. AS. FUCK.
about who they are. which is fucking it up for everyone and when I mean everyone, I mean black people.
I'm not going to push for it, but it is a lightbulb moment I had when a trumper said something like (and in the vein of "why can't we have a white entertainment channel...") "why can't WE capitalize the W in white people?!"
and my thought was...nigga please. go right the fuck on if that makes you get closer to you.
my theory is that all of this weirdness and pushback to maintain social order/control (and the tools therein) is because there is confusion. I think a lot of these people think racism, violence, discrimination is a core meaning of whiteness. i.e., PC culture, SJWs, Feminism, BLM, etc. are not designed to combat injustice, instead, they are seen as a direct and personal attack on whiteness.
i see it as a roundabout way of taking accountability and taking ownership and determining whats next for your people.
black people have had centuries to think about race and identity, the meaning of black bodies in white society.
Black people can define their identity within and also outside the context of white supremacy
It is my belief that white people have a hard time imagining their identity outside of the context of white supremacy, black people, "others", "normal", etc.
anyway, I already regret saying this because I don't think I did the idea any justice and I'm worried I'll be mislabeled in my thinking here.