Yesterday on Twitter, somebody said, “They changed the definition of vaccination.” I say, show your source. The dude says, “Webster’s 16th versus the website.” Somehow the fact that he looked it up for his boss was supposed to lend some credence. Maybe that he’s gainfully employed and therefore a Very Smart Man™? So today I go back and figure out what’s happening. Of course there is no 16th edition of MW, no way he’s using the same publisher for the print copy and the website. In the meantime, another guy pops up and tries to ding me for dinging the first guy and posts a link to an article about the CDC’s revision of the term. But it’s an article about the CDC, not the dictionary, so I go into teacher mode and write a long post explaining how lots of different publishers use the name “Webster’s” and that’s why the two definitions guy 1 compared were different, and that the CDC article, although helpful (thanks, guy 2!), has nothing to do with the dictionary. I then add that science, language, and humans change, that’s just life on earth, nothing nefarious about that, isn’t that cool? And since I had to prep for family celebrations, I wouldn’t be commenting further. But I couldn’t get the thread to post in order, so I mentioned that too.
Not a peep from either of the commenters.
So what I’m saying is, I think the way to go is to lean into my image as a guileless old lady who just has everybody’s best interests at heart–and also knows what she’s talking about.