According to their web traffic, the most searched terms included: deplorable, xenophobe, demagogic, and locker-room
Back during the first presidential debate in November’s race for the Oval Office, the social media account of the American dictionary Merriam-Webster defined itself as a democrat, offering a running commentary on the lexical lapses displayed by Trump. After a weekend in which the Republican candidate’s choice of words – not to mention press conference supporters – made headlines all over the world, the lexicographers were doing their civic duty and weighing in on the action.
We'll be tweeting the #debate. When you're a star, they let you do it.— Merriam-Webster (@MerriamWebster) October 10, 2016
One of the most concerning trends during this debate was that according to Merriam-Webster’s web traffic, there were more people searching for the dictionary’s definition of the non-existent noun ‘lepo’, mistakenly believing that the proper noun Aleppo was the noun phrase ‘a lepo’. As explained by Kory Stamper, one of Merriam-Webster’s lexicographer and a dictionary historian, the top 10 words trending on the site showed Americans were keen to get to grips with the cut and thrust of the candidates’ arguments.
Your debate lookups @MerriamWebster, in order:— Kory Stamper (@KoryStamper) October 10, 2016
The Twitter account then weighed in on Clinton’s used of ‘demagogue’ to describe her rival, with a pop culture nod to the biggest TV show of the summer thrown in:
To the people making Stranger Things jokes: no, but we have an entry for that too. https://t.co/DtJiQrJzCJ— Merriam-Webster (@MerriamWebster) October 10, 2016
During the town hall debate, during which members of the public posed questions to the candidates, Trump also managed to catch Merriam-Webster’s attention when he said of Clinton’s ongoing email server problems, “After you get a subpoena, you acid wash those emails.” The unusual verbiage appears to be something of a first:
Equally unusually, but not incorrect, was the Republican candidate's use of the adjective "unproud," which he deployed when discussing his use of social media to encourage his followers to search for a sex tape of the former Miss Universe Alicia Machado.
By the end of the evening’s St Louis-based debate, the lexical list of trending definitions revealed that the viewing public was left perplexed by a list of words tying into the atmosphere surrounding the entire weekend woes:
Post-debate @MerriamWebster: unproud, rejigger, deplorable, xenophobe, demagogic, moderator, irredeemable, locker-room, Aleppo, dereliction.— Peter Sokolowski (@PeterSokolowski) October 10, 2016
But the final thought on the debate, the candidates, and Donald Trump’s continuing scandals went to Merriam-Webster, which rounded up things rather neatly:
"It's just words." #debate— Merriam-Webster (@MerriamWebster) October 10, 2016