Merriam-Webster feeding upon Trump’s verbal missteps

The dictionary publisher’s social media team has seized upon the flood of linguistic gaffes teeming from the Oval Office to cultivate a devoted following on Twitter and beyond.

Trump speaks in strange and curious ways.

Regardless of your personal political leaning, if you consider yourself a wordsmith of any caliber, you’ve probably been taken aback by President Donald Trump’s extemporaneous syntax and usage.

Merriam-Webster, the dictionary purveyor, has taken note.

Last week, when Trump claimed credit for coming up with the phrase, “priming the pump,” scribes and scholars were quick to point out that, in fact, he had not coined it.

Merriam-Webster tweeted the following:

There are any number of explanations as to why Trump took credit for the phrase. He may have been joking. He may have never heard the phrase and independently came up with it. Both are at least somewhat plausible explanations. Still, this is not the first time Merriam-Webster has stepped in to offer a Trumprovement. (See what I did there?)

The verbal arbiter was there when Trump surrogate Kellyanne Conway injected “alternative facts” into the American lexicon:

It spoke out again after Trump misused the word “council” in a tweet:

It even weighed in when Trump won the election last November:

The Trump-trolling strategy has boosted the audiences for “Saturday Night Live” and “The Late Show with Stephen Colbert,” and it has done the same for Merriam-Webster. The company has doubled its Twitter following (to more than 465,000 as of this writing) since Trump took office.

So you know, M-W offers this definition for troll as a verb:

2a: to antagonize (others) online by deliberately posting inflammatory, irrelevant, or offensive comments or other disruptive content

Perhaps “to correct reckless verbiage” should be 2b.

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