Merriam-Webster Confirms Everyone’s Suspicion that ‘Breadth’ Isn’t a Real Word
“We hope that ‘breadth’ will be a relic of the past. It’s time to move on.”
SPRINGFIELD, MA — In a press release that has turned the linguistic world on its head, Merriam-Webster Co. announced that ‘breadth’ is not a real word, contrary to its presence in their dictionary.
Spokeswoman Donna Jo Haas elaborated on the company’s ruse to reporters: “It began as a bit in the writers room when the company was founded in 1831. One of our linguists brought in some of his family’s authentic southern moonshine, and they started tossing around ideas for fake words to slip into the dictionary’s first edition. Most of their suggestions were duds: plyzyntyne, quuli, arbrizitone. Ironically, some of their more realistic-sounding fake words are now a part of modern lexicon; misunderestimate and covfefe are the most notable examples.” When asked why they settled on breadth, Haas shrugged. “I assume it’s because they were drunk out of their gourds.”
Merriam-Webster Co.’s official statement did not address the timing of its admission, but Haas explained that “2020 is a year of great change, and we are currently experiencing a massive shift away from what we consider the old normal. We don’t yet know what the new normal will look like, but we hope that ‘breadth’ will be a relic of the past. It’s time to move on.”
“But,” she added, “watching everyone attempt to pronounce it for the past two centuries sure was a hoot!”