In its latest statement, the US dictionary Merriam-Webster has revealed that the word ‘they’ has been its most searched word for 2019 due to its gender-neutral nature.
The statement also noted that although ‘they’ has been used in replacement of he or she for 600 years, its singular use has become more common now.
“More recently, though, they has also been used to refer to one person whose gender identity is non-binary,” said the statement.
The US dictionary further informed that ‘they’ was searched 313% more times in 2019 as more and more people with mixed-gender identities, no gender or LGBT came out in demand to be referred as ‘they’ instead of he or she.
For all the reasons mentioned, Merriam-Webster has crowned ‘they’ as Word of the Year 2019.
Earlier, Oxford English Dictionary and Dictionary.com published articles last year to state that singular use of ‘they’ is grammatically correct (Reuters).