Merriam-Webster declares ‘they’ its 2019 word of the year

Merriam-Webster has named the pronoun “they” its 2019 word of the year. The word and its emergence as a nonbinary alternative to “he” and “she” experienced a 313 percent increase in look-ups on Merriam-Webster.com. Editor at large Peter Sokolowski says he was surprised by the data but the word has been the subject of a lot of talk this year. Look-ups for “they” spiked in January with the rise of model Oslo Grace on top fashion runways. In September, the dictionary’s site experienced another big increase in look-ups for “they”when pop star Sam Smith wrote on social media that their preferred pronouns were “they” and “them.”