NellXO Backstage: Is Merriam-Webster A Shady Lady?

My mornings typically consist of waking up with a cat on my chest, head or other weight-sensitive body part. What was Miss Cami’s spot of choice today? The front of my shoulder. Well, no. Let me rewind that back a bit. I initially woke up right as she was reaching her paw out to claw me in the right eye. I know. Like it wasn’t bad enough that she was sitting two inches away from my face, staring down at me like an obsessive jilted lover. You know, she’s been doing that whole let-me-just-try-to-grab-your-eyeball-while-you’re-sleeping thing a lot lately. Or your arm. Or cheek. How about whatever I can grab? The sad part is that she’s honestly not trying to maim me; she thinks she’s petting me. Cute? Unbearably. A cause for reasonable concern? Heck yes.

Anyway, back to waking up. Once I’d gently explained (for the hundredth time) that while I deeply appreciate her desire to express a more human-like form of affection for me, it’s really. not. necessary. She quickly realized she’d done a “no-no” (again), so she jumped off the bed and buggered off somewhere. That is, until she returned—This time sitting square on the front of my shoulder and nesting there in a cat bun…as though it was perfectly normal. As though she were an oversized parrot. As though I were a half-asleep pirate with a peg leg, a hook and a Bristolian accent. I allowed this behavior for awhile, I’ll admit. She was warm and I was cold, so you know, it was a win-win situation.

Once my shoulder started to fall asleep I tossed her off, as is customary. It was time to get up, but no waking ritual would be complete before I caught up with Snapchat. I scrolled through, looking at everyone’s snaps from the night—nothing too interesting or outrageous for once. I got bored with it quickly, really. So, I started scrolling down to the very bottom where all the featured snaps are from folks like Vogue and Cosmopolitan. You know how they have all of those random stories to click on? Well anyway, I clicked on one of them (I forgot who it was) and discovered something that entertained me thoroughly. And no, it wasn’t Katy Perry’s Met Gala outfit.

Apparently, Merriam-Webster (Remember dictionaries?) just crowned a new word: Sheeple. My initial reaction was shock.

You mean to tell me that I’ve been running around using it all this time and it wasn’t even an official word?

Nope, it wasn’t.

Ah. Okay then.

Huh. I got over that quick. So much for being so “shocked”. I didn’t think too much more of it until the snap went on to spill the real tea. They suggested that Merriam-Webster actually shaded Apple users in their example sentence for the word. I couldn’t believe that they would actually call Apple users “followers”, so I rushed over to their website to verify. And I’ve got the receipts. They totally did. Dun Dun Dun!


I had to laugh. I’m sorry. As an Apple user, I’m being completely irresponsible and insensitive, but it’s super funny. Back before I crossed over here to the dark side, I had a major problem with a select group of Apple users:

You know, the ones who stand in line for fifteen weeks waiting for the new iPhone to drop in stores only to reach the front of the line and find out there’s an even better and bigger one being released the very next day. Better get back in line.

They are usually the same ones who change phones like underwear for no reason other than its the “latest and greatest”…or because the new phone covers are cuter.

And if you don’t own an iPhone, don’t even bother trying to talk to them. I mean, what iceberg did the archaeologists dig you up from, caveman? It’s that deep with them.

You know the kind of folks I’m talking about too, but no shade if you’re one of them. I’m simply saying that there are Apple enthusiasts out there who only ever buy the products for the sake of the name and the fact that everyone else is doing it—don’t ask them anything about the specs or actual functionality though. Blank stares. My ex used to call this special breed of Apple fanatics “sheeple” all of the time, so today is surely a proud day for him. Three cheers for misguided vindication.

It makes me wonder though…was it super shady of Webster to take a cheap shot at Apple users? At least they weren’t too bold about it. I mean, at least they made it the #2 example, right? I personally don’t take offense to it because I’m not about that $99 battery case life, but for the people who are, are you feeling some type of way about this?

My thoughts are that the sheeple…Ahem, I mean Apple users…don’t care. It kind of sounds like the author is simply an embittered individual who just had their Android freeze up for the umpteenth time. Why so salty? If it was a dig, it was a pointless one, if you ask me. Apple users typically aren’t looking up words in a dictionary anyway, so they’ll never have the chance to get their feelings hurt. The autocorrect on the iPhone is pretty accurate (most) of the time. If they are concerned about looking up words, there’s an app for that. And thanks to this comical, but possibly offensive stunt, it probably won’t be Webster’s that they’ll be using. -XO


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