Donald Trump And The RNC Seemed To Inspire A Depressing Slate Of Dictionary Searches

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As any writer will tell you, they may beef up their writing with words that are not in their everyday vocabulary. It’s a recurrent adroitness that highlights one’s utilization of the written word. So it is no surprise some of the speeches at the Republican National Convention has some verbeage that may not be regulary used. But some viewers are looking up words that has some cause for concern.

After doom and gloom Donald Trump’s speech on Thursday, viewers turned to the internet to look at the meanings behind a few words he used — and some others that they might’ve picked up elsewhere. Some of the most popular word searches on Merriam-Webster’s website and app were demagogue, dystopia, nationalism and, most surprisingly, democracy. This search within 24 hours of Trump’s speech is a little disconcerting since you figure the definition of democracy has been taught since grade school, but this might not be the full reason behind the inquiries. Peter Sokolowski, a lexicographer for Merriam-Webster tells Quartz that these searches are part of a bigger trend:

“People come to the dictionary for many reasons. You can see how we’re processing the news of the week. These searches do not usually indicate ignorance, they indicate interest.”

Another word that has gotten some traffic on the site is “plagirism” which may stem from Melania Trump’s speech at the RNC, where she may have lifted some phrases from Michelle Obama’s speech in 2008. The most popular word searches on the site include:

  • disenfranchise
  • fascism
  • mature
  • demagogue
  • et al
  • bigot
  • serendipity
  • dystopia
  • Jibe
  • racism

The hope is these searches are just a general interest and not evidence of the country’s lack of understanding.

(Via Quartz)