Editing for Grammarphobes 2.0: Merriam-Webster Dictionary Adds New Words

Every Wednesday, Editing for Grammarphobes 2.0 features handy tips to enhance all of our writing, from daily emails to articles to books. After all, everyone needs to write, right?


Have you heard that 1,000 words have been added to the Merriam-Webster dictionary? 

They range from new advances in science to pop culture to tech terms. Along with the fairly well-known, such as photo-bomb (note the hyphen), SCOTUS, train wreck (two words), and face-palm (another hyphen), there are some great obscure words as well. 

Here’s a sampling of the latest words to make the tome.

Abandonware: software that is no longer sold or supported by its creator.

Bokeh: the blurred quality or effect seen in the out-of-focus portion of a photograph taken with a narrow depth of field.

Fast fashion: an approach to the design, creation, and marketing of clothing fashions that emphasizes making fashion trends quickly and cheaply available to consumers.

Food insecure: unable to consistently access or afford adequate foodout: to be have like a geek; especially: to become excited or enthusiastic about a favored subject or activity.

Microaggression: a comment or action that subtly and often unconsciously or unintentionally expresses a prejudiced attitude toward a member of a marginalized group.  

Throw shade: to express contempt or disrespect for someone publicly especially by subtle or indirect insults or criticisms.

Woo-Woo: dubiously or outlandishly mystical, supernatural, or unscientific. 

Click here to read the full story. 


These five books are on my desk at all times. Maybe they'll help you as well.

The Associated Press Stylebook, 2016 edition
The Chicago Manual of Style
Strunk and White's The Elements of Style
Merriam-Webster's Collegiate Dictionary, 11th edition
The Bugaboo Review: A lighthearted guide to exterminating confusion about words, spelling, and grammar


A professional writer/editor for almost 30 years, Karen Wojcik Berner's wide and varied experience includes such topics as grammar, blog content, book reviews, corporate communications, the arts, paint and coatings, real estate, the fire service, writing and literature, research, and publishing. An award-winning journalist, her work has appeared in several magazines, newspapers, and blogs, including the Chicago Tribune, Writer Unboxed, Women's Fiction Writers, Naperville Magazine, and Fresh Fiction. She also is the author of three contemporary women's fiction novels and is a member of the Chicago Writers’ Association. For more information on Karen, please visit www.karenberner.com.


And this is why Merriam-Webster is always open on my computer.

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