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May 11, 2017

Merriam-Webster's genius Trump trolling: 454,000 followers and counting


merriam webster trump twitter

The Merriam-Webster dictionary has struck social media gold by trolling President Trump.

Since Trump’s inauguration, the dictionary’s official Twitter handle has doubled its audience to 454,000 followers.

At the root of its success is a steady flow of clever tweets by @MerriamWebster directed at the President.

Some of the Merriam-Webster tweets fact check the president. Some correct his malapropisms or fill in the blanks. It’s trolling heaven for lexicographers.

A series of tweets on Thursday provided a case-in-point.

When Trump claimed he coined the phrase “prime the pump,” Merriam-Webster jabbed back. That phrase “dates to the early 19th century,” @MerriamWebster tweeted.

Related: The dictionary that’s one of Trump’s funniest fact checkers

Then, Trump insisted in a tweet that “Russia must be laughing up their sleeves” about the outrage surrounding his decision to fire FBI Director James Comey.

Merriam-Webster was on it, ready to explain the idiom.

Some other highlights from Merriam-Webster over the past few months include explanations of Trump’s frequent use of the phrase “big league/bigly,” and defining the word “fact” after White House adviser Kellyanne Conway famously described falsehoods as “alternative facts.”

And when President Trump mistakenly used the word “council” instead of “counsel” in a Tweet — which he deleted — Merriam-Webster didn’t miss a beat.

Related: Who coined ‘prime the pump’? Definitely not Donald Trump

It’s not the stuff one would expect from a dictionary.

Merriam-Webster editor Kory Stamper told CNNMoney in January that the account is run by Lauren Naturale — and her “persona” truly shines through.

Stamper added that it reflects “the natural voice of how we talk to each other in the office. It’s the jokes we make to each other.”

CNNMoney (New York) First published May 11, 2017: 7:30 PM ET



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