Posted on 06/11/2020 at 08:51 AM by Sadye Scott-Hainchek

2020 has been a memorable year for the human species, and it’s a good thing our dictionaries have virtual options nowadays.

That makes it much easier for definitions to update with the times, such as adding words and new meanings to existing ones.

The latest example? Racism.

CNN reports that a Missouri woman reached out to Merriam-Webster with concerns that limiting the definition of racism to prejudicial thinking from an individual ignores the existence of systemic racism.

Kennedy Mitchum emailed the dictionary on a Thursday night and received a response the next morning.

Not only did the Merriam-Webster editor agree that the definition should be updated, but he also thanked her for raising the issue and apologized for causing harm.

Merriam-Webster now additionally defines racism as “a doctrine or political program based on the assumption of racism and designed to execute its principles" and "a political or social system founded on racism.”

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Categories: Today in Books

Tagged As: Diversity, Language

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