Word up! Troll, ransomware, alt-right added to dictionary – CNET

“Internet of things”? Hasn’t the internet always been made up of things? If that phrase has ever confused you, know that you can now look it up in the Merriam-Webster dictionary, which added more than 250 words and phrases on Monday.

The dictionary defines internet of things as referring to “the networking capability that allows information to be sent to and received from objects and devices (such as fixtures and kitchen appliances) using the Internet.” Got that, Siri and Alexa?

Petya ransomware cyber attack

The widespread Petya ransomware attack wreaked havoc across the globe earlier this year. 

Alexander Ryumin\TASS via Getty Images

Other tech-related new additions included troll, the online-harasser version, not the fishing action or monster-under-the-bridge meaning, and ransomware, malware from those nasty scammers who seize your data, then demand money to set it free.

Alt-right is a controversial term these days, and the dictionary defines it as “a right-wing, primarily online political movement or grouping based in the U.S. whose members reject mainstream conservative politics and espouse extremist beliefs and policies typically centered on ideas of white nationalism.”

And if you’ve ever seen someone online appeal for help to the hive mind, you know what they’re looking for: “the collective thoughts, ideas, and opinions of a group of people (such as Internet users) regarded as functioning together as a single mind.”

Plenty of non-tech favorites were added too, including sriracha, the spicy pepper sauce, and pregame, used commonly these days to describe drinking before an event, a meaning the dictionary acknowledges but doesn’t list in the formal definition.

And the always sly Merriam-Webster Twitter account tweeted out a timely GIF to go with its updates, sending out a photo of Melissa McCarthy at Sunday night’s Emmys watching former White House press secretary Sean Spicer, who appeared in a skit. Is the dictionary strongly hinting that “word salad” is what Spicer used to offer up? Could they be … trolling? Somebody look it up and find out.

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