Merriam-Webster added a new definition of the word “they” to its dictionary, declaring the pronoun may be used to refer to a “single person whose gender identity is nonbinary.”
“They” is a liberating pronoun for many non-binary individuals who identify as genders other than male or female. For many Americans, the use of “they” as a singular pronoun can be ungrammatical and confusing.
But Merriam-Webster’s announcement, made on Twitter on Tuesday, marked an official stamp of approval on a term that has become increasingly common as non-binary identities become more visible than ever.
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