Merriam-Webster taunts Trump on Twitter

Dylan Stableford
Senior Writer
Trump speaks at the CIA headquarters in Langley, Va., on Saturday. (Photo: Olivier Doulier/Getty Images)

President Donald Trump has been in office less than four days, but his administration’s already given Merriam-Webster plenty of fresh material to chew on.

On Sunday, the dictionary publisher taunted Trump counselor Kellyanne Conway after she said on “Meet the Press” that White House press secretary Sean Spicer’s false statements about the inauguration were actually “alternative facts.”

“A fact is a piece of information presented as having objective reality,” read a tweet from Merriam-Webster’s Twitter feed shortly after.

On Monday, Merriam-Webster took the Trump administration to task again when searches for the word “claque” spiked following a report that many of those who cheered during Trump’s weekend visit to CIA headquarters were not agency staff but Trump supporters.

“If you’re part of a group that’s paid to applaud, you’re a ‘claqueur,’” Merriam Webster tweeted.

Trump had also hired actors to applaud during the announcement of his candidacy in the summer of 2015, Yahoo News reported at the time.

Merriam-Webster’s quiet social media shots at Trump are not a new phenomenon. During the presidential debates, Merriam-Webster took to Twitter to clarify some of the celebrity businessman’s unusual utterances.

In December, Merriam-Webster mocked Trump after the then-president-elect misspelled the word “unprecedented” in a tweet about China’s seizure of a U.S. drone.

“China steals United States Navy research drone in international waters,” Trump tweeted. “Rips it out of water and takes it to China in unpresidented act.”

“Good morning! The #WordOfTheDay is … not ‘unpresidented,’” Merriam-Webster quipped. “We don’t enter that word. That’s a new one.”

And in a subtle nod to Trump’s stunning rise from real estate mogul to reality television star to president of the United States, Merriam-Webster chose “surreal” as its 2016 word of the year.

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