If your favourite new word—or redefinition of an old word—didn’t pass the test, don’t be a snowflake about it.
The Merriam-Webster folks work tirelessly to track words for their usage and commonality because, as they say, “The English language never sleeps, and neither does the dictionary.”
Each word follows its own path at its own pace before its use is widespread enough to be included in a dictionary. We watch as words move from specialised contexts to more general use and we make citations for each word in order to draft our definitions. This means, in other words, that we have the receipts (in a manner of speaking).
Some of the words feel a little obvious; if you’re a parent, you’ve been using “screen time” to refer to the amount of time your kid’s face is plastered to their tablet for years.
But others, like salutogenesis (that’s a manner of monitoring health by promoting well-being rather than measuring disease) are a little more obscure.
There are really smart science-y words (go ahead, use qubit in a sentence). And, of course, there are entertainment words (I’ve personally never heard something referred to as a bottle episode, but I’m on board with buzzy).
With all these new words, I bet lugging a dictionary around these days could make you pretty… swole.