We have all been there. It might be a in the middle of a professional conversation or social gathering and someone uses a word you think you know, but you aren’t totally sure what it means, so you refrain from making any comments that might reveal your doubt. It is understandable that no one wants to look stupid in any setting. However, on the first chance you get, a quick Google search can add clarity. It is true on a national stage as well. The New York Times brought this interesting and affirming information to our attention in their article, “Move Over, Wikipedia. Dictionaries Are Hot Again.”

Immediately following Senator Elizabeth Warren’s (Democrat of Massachusetts) silencing on the Senate floor by her Republican colleagues for “impugning” a fellow senator, Merriam-Webster reported a surge in queries for the definition of impugn.

In this new era of “fake news” and “alt facts“, it is refreshing to see citizens looking for the truth in the foggy blur that is our 24-hour news cycle.

“Dictionaries are not regarded as sexy or interesting, but what dictionaries are known for is telling the truth,” said Jesse Sheidlower, a lexicographer and past president of the American Dialect Society.

Melody K. Smith

Sponsored by Access Innovations, the world leader in thesaurus, ontology, and taxonomy creation and metadata application.