Language

Merriam-Webster adds "they" as a nonbinary pronoun

Photo: Handout/Getty Images

Merriam-Webster announced updates this week to its dictionary, adding 533 new words and meanings to its inventory, including the use of the word "they" as a singular, nonbinary pronoun.

Why it matters: A growing number of Americans don't identify as male or female and use "they" or "them," rather than traditional pronouns. Some states now allow people to have an "X" on their driver's license, rather than male or female. Merriam-Webster's move also weakens the common argument against the singular "they" — that it is grammatically incorrect.

AI learns to write headlines (but not this one)

Illustration: Rebecca Zisser/Axios

One of the most frustrating parts of journalism is writing headlines — they need to be pithy and smart, drawing in readers but not infuriating them with cheap clickbait.

What's new: Perhaps the simplest solution is to summarize an article as efficiently as possible. And because machines are getting increasingly good at that, AI headline writers can now nearly instantly generate titles that outshine even some human-made ones.