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'Super PAC' Is Now a Real Term, Says Merriam-Webster 'Super PAC' Is Now a Real Term, Says Merriam-Webster

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Politics

'Super PAC' Is Now a Real Term, Says Merriam-Webster

The dictionary for "Real America" adds the term two years after the Oxford English Dictionary.

A Merriam-Webster's Collegiate Dictionary is displayed in a bookstore November 10, 2003 in Niles, Illinois. (Tim Boyle/Getty Images)

photo of Elahe Izadi
March 18, 2014

In the world of words, you haven't truly made it until you get into Merriam-Webster. Well, "super PAC," you've hit the big time, baby.

Merriam-Webster has added the term to its online unabridged dictionary, reports the Center for Public Integrity's Dave Levinthal. "Super PAC," as Merriam-Webster defines it, is "a type of political action committee that is legally permitted to raise and spend larger amounts of money than the amounts allowed for a conventional PAC."

It's difficult to imagine a world in which a super PAC existed, but was officialy known as "independent expenditure-only political action committee." You can thank Roll Call's Eliza Newlin Carney for the much shorter and more exciting term; she apparently coined it in 2010 when she was a National Journal reporter.

 

The Oxford English Dictionary, which proclaims itself as "the definitive record of the English language," added the term back in 2012. But we prefer to think of Merriam-Webster, which sells "America's best-selling desk dictionary," as the reference guide of choice for "Real America."

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