Are definitions descriptive or prescriptive? That’s a classic conversation about language. I enjoyed this recent Twitter exchange that encapsulates the discussion well.
— Merriam-Webster (@MerriamWebster) April 13, 2018
Neil deGrasse Tyson seems to come down on the prescriptive side, or at least would prefer that meanings remain static. Most dictionaries, including Merriam-Webster, aspire only to describe how we use and have used them. Dictionary editors don’t want to be in the business of legislating linguistics, or indeed even policing who is allowed to innovate. Fun fact: it’s predominantly teenage girls, which means I’m about 18 months away from having a front row seat to the latest in language.
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