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Troubles in the sisterhood

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Citing Merriam-Webster lexicographers who noticed their online dictionary searches for the word “misogyny” skyrocketed in the wake of the mass killing in Isla Vista, Calif., The Wall Street Journal’s language columnist Ben Zimmer recently wondered if it’s time to redefine the word “misogynist.”

After the rampage, Zimmer noted, opinionators rushed to dissect the usage and nature of misogyny. While some dictionaries consider the word to accurately mean “dislike of” or “prejudice against” women, Merriam-Webster defines “misogyny” as “a hatred of women” and editors there said “hatred” is “broad enough to encompass everything from feelings of dislike to entrenched prejudice and hostility.”

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