In April 2019, Merriam-Webster Dictionary added over 640 words to their growing dictionary including three Pro-Transgender specific words. The well recognized Dictionary since 1828 added the words ‘Top-Surgery, Bottom-Surgery, and Gender nonconforming’ to it’s lexicon this month in an approach to the growing English language.
1.Gender nonconforming – Exhibiting behavioral, cultural, or psychological traits that do not correspond with the traits typically associated with one’s sex.
2.Top surgery – A type of gender confirmation surgery in which a person’s breasts are removed or augmented to match their gender identity.
3.Bottom surgery – A type of gender confirmation surgery in which a person’s genitalia are altered to match their gender identity.
Merriam-Webster published about their new word choices in a statement on their website saying “The English language never sleeps, and neither does the dictionary. The work of revising a dictionary is constant, and it mirrors the culture’s need to make sense of the world with words. There are always new things to be named and new uses for existing words to be explained. A release of new words is also a map of the workings of a dictionary—you get to see what we’ve been up to—and of how words from different contexts come to reside in the same place”.
It seems like Merriam-Webster is really focusing on society and at least trying to help make sense of all the changes in the world, with words. The term Snowflake and new additions like ‘stan,’ ‘salutogenesis,’ ‘buzzy,’ ‘gig economy,’ ‘qubit,’ and ‘garbage time’ were also added among others. Gaystar News has praised Webster’s Dictionary for their inclusion of the newly added friendly-transgender words.
Whether you can actually understand the world or make sense of it is completely up for discussion, but in way its good that those at Merriam-Webster are at least trying to make sense out of everything for everyone. If you’re honest with yourself and can get passed the mob of people who will most likely call you Trans-phobic, then we can agree that the topic of Transgender-ism is super confusing. Of course I’m not saying this to offend anyone but it’s inevitable to not be called Trans-phobic simply because you know that someone is a man or a women and understand that it can’t be changed.
I’m not sure what kind of opinion the people behind Merriam-Webster would have on the conversation of Gender but I’m glad they took time to try and define these word. I’d like to point out that this is the same dictionary who also includes terms like Gender Dysphoria and defines it as a “distressed state” arising from “conflict” between someone’s gender identity and the sex they were born as. Gender Identity in the Webster Dictionary defines as a person with an “internal sense of being male, female” or some of both. In all honesty none of that makes sense to me, just because you try and describe it; which is probably why Gender Dysphoria is considered a mental disorder and also listed in many health/medical sites that can help you understand more on it. Gender Identity Disorder was introduced in DSM-III in 1980 and years later we now know it by Gender Dysphoria.
Veteran columnist Thomas Sowell has often made comments I think we can all relate too, on how government and political entities seek to redefine words for their own personal gains. Sowell warned in 2015 that the left uses it’s “verbal talents to change the whole meaning of words and to substitute new words, so that issues would be debated in terms of their redefined vocabulary, instead of the real substance of the issues.” I personally agree with his concerns, I believe that although Webster may possibly have good intentions it just seems like a lot of power for a few people to decide vocabulary for all. I think there should be more regulations around adding, changing, and removing words from the dictionary. It may not be clear for some but language is import and how we debate, speak, and comprehend everything around us is too important to be in the hands of a few; who could shape anything how they’d like.
As far as Transgender-ism, I don’t believe that there will ever be enough definitions to make sense of something that truly doesn’t make sense. Reality is, you cannot change your sex and your gender has everything to do with your sex, our reproductive and sexual parts are not interchangeable like we’re Mr. Potato head. I believe Gender Dysphoria is something that needs to be approached differently so that we may help people going through these Identity issues especially when the Suicide rates in the Transgender community are among the highest with or without surgery.
Written by Emmanuel Matos