I’ve kind of become fascinated with the comments section of the Merriam-Webster website. Because apparently even the dictionary is not immune to the trend of slapping Facebook at the bottom of every page!
Under every definition, Merriam-Webster asks its users: “What made you want to look up [this word]? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).” Which, to be honest, is actually a great use of the comments section because it is an up-to-date indicator of how people are grappling with vocabulary in modern usage. There are a lot of school assignments, plans for Sunday School lessons, and the like. There are also a lot of people saying, “Hi.”
But because this is an internet comments section, folks come in from all over, and sometimes the result is a beautiful, postmodern assortment of disconnected thoughts. Other times the comments are tiny windows into private struggles, and ring with loneliness. And of course some of them just made me laugh.
The dictionary has me hooked. Time to start making found poetry.
2 thoughts on “fun with merriam and webster”
I love how people like other people’s dumb comments.
I also like the run-on comment “my sister told me she hated me I’ve never done anything to her.” Did you have to look up the word hate to assess her feelings toward you? And then you were so horrified you chose the most immediately available outlet to voice your shock?
I thought about doing some Facebook recon to estimate how old the commenter was at the time, but figured that’s a little too creepy. And also I like pulling these out of context.
I love cats.
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