As a part of their “biggest update ever,” Dictionary.com have included a long list of LGBTQIA+ terms and words. They have also pledged to use “homosexuality” as less as possibles due to the term’s negative undertones.
This online dictionary published a blog post recently, which explains that they have updated 15,000 entries. These entries also include 650 new ones, that cover various topics “ranging from race and sexual orientation to climate and internet culture.”
This dictionary online platform has revised many of the LGBTQIA+ terminology definitions; in an effort to put “people first” and not practices. They have also replaced the term including “homosexual” with the words “gay, gay man, or gay woman”. As well as “references to homosexuality with gay sexual orientation.”
Why They Decided To Revise The Terms:
Dictionary.com, is an online dictionary platform that came into existence 25 years ago. And has typically always followed the Random House Webster’s Unabridged Dictionary. However, over the span of years, it began making its own decisions on updating and revising the terms on its site. This is similar to Merriam-Webster. It happened to add singular-they and announced “they” as its word of the year in 2019.
The dictionary site explained: “For example, we now define gayness as ‘gay or lesbian sexual orientation or behavior’ compared to the outmoded gloss of ‘homosexuality’. These changes alone affect over 50 entries.
How big is BIG? We've updated over 15,000 entries on topics ranging from race and sexual orientation to climate and internet culture.https://t.co/kNdHhsLYrn
— Dictionary.com (@Dictionarycom) September 1, 2020
“The previously used terms, homosexual and homosexuality, originated as clinical language; and dictionaries have historically perceived such language as scientific and unbiased.
“But homosexual and homosexuality have their association with pathology, mental illness, and criminality; and so imply that being gay – a normal way of being – is sick, diseased, or wrong.”
The online dictionary have also revised Pride – with a capital P – its own entry “to better document the specific, widespread use of the term”.
Dictionary.com also added that these revisions will “help eliminate heterosexual bias in language, they also help better convey the diversity and richness of… human sexual experience and identity”.
Other LGBTQIA+ Terms Also Got Inclusion:
Several new LGBT+ entries on Dictionary.com also include the words “ace, ambisextrous, asexual, biromantic, deadname, gender-inclusive, gender diversity, and trans+”.
Along with this, the another major update to this dictionary is the capitalisation of the term Black; when used while referring to people.
“Capitalising Black confers the due dignity to the shared identity, culture, and history of Black people,” said the site.
“Dictionaries are not merely a linguistic exercise or academic enterprise.
“What are the effects of Black, referring to human beings, being grouped together with black; which can mean, among other things, ‘wicked’?
“The effects are social. They are psychological. They are personal. Inclusion ways of these words into the dictionary directly affects the real people in the real world. Especially words that concern our personal identities .”
Dictionary.com adds: “Change is constant, a principle that’s true in language as in life.
“No matter what is happening in the world, we’re committed to documenting and describing. And helping you stay informed on and, yes, sometimes entertained by; the English language as it evolves.”
They have also created a separate entry for Pride. Referring to “recognition of LGBTQ identity, affirmation of equal rights. And celebration of visibility, dignity, and diversity in the LGBTQ community (formerly referred to as Gay Pride) events or organizations; that celebrate the LGBTQ community and its members (often used attributively).”
The Pronoun ‘They’ Received Recognition As Well:
Sometime last year, Merriam-Webster (another similar dictionary) announced that its word of the year was personal pronoun “they.” After witnessing a 313% increase in web searches because to its usage as a singular, gender neutral pronoun.
“English famously lacks a gender-neutral singular pronoun to correspond neatly with singular pronouns like everyone or someone; and as a consequence, ‘they’ has been used for this purpose for over 600 years,” Merriam-Webster told at the time.
“More recently, though, they has also been used to refer to one person whose gender identity is nonbinary; a sense that is increasingly common in published, edited text, as well as social media. And in daily personal interactions between English speakers.
“There’s no doubt that its use is established in the English language. Which is why it found its way into the Merriam-Webster.com dictionary this past September.”
Some of the other new terms which can be found on Dictionary.com also include Black Lives Matter, BIPOC, gender reveal, Me Too, Twitch, whitesplain, and AF. The cherry on the top would be finding the term contouring as well. One of the famous techniques often used in drag performances.