Ben Zimmer in the Wall Street Journal:
What happens when a dictionary adds the word “clickbait” to its pages and publicizes the news with a bit of clickbait?
Last week, Merriam-Webster said it had added 1,700 new entries to its Unabridged Dictionary. It defined “clickbait,” one of the words featured, as “something (such as a headline) designed to make readers want to click on a hyperlink, especially when the link leads to content of dubious value or interest.”
And in a move that poked fun at the conventions of clickbait itself, Merriam-Webstershared a link to the announcement on Twitter with the come-on, “You won’t believe what we just added to the dictionary!” (Other additions include “emoji,” “meme” and “jegging.”)
Not everyone was amused.