Webster Alters Definition of Success to Account for Hard Times

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illustration of a cartoon man jumping arms stretched skyward as SUCCESS is spelled out in the clouds. The logo for Merriam Webster dictionary is in the corner.

SPRINGFIELD, MASS.- A coalition of linguists, sociologists, and assorted gurus gathered together to offer their proposed revisions to Merriam Webster’s simple definition of success. In an age of economic uncertainty, wealth is harder to come by for most. At a time when the definitions of marriage, family, and happiness are incredibly fluid, setting universal benchmarks can be difficult. In light of all this, the coalition sought to lower the bar a bit and not make success so damn hard.

Though the gathering was initially planned to be a weeklong intensive investigation into the myriad ways in which the idea of success manifests itself, the whole thing fell apart after couple days. On their way out the core group of reformers handed in a scrap of notebook paper scrawled with their findings and proposed revisions. Their suggestions appear within the brackets

SUCCESS:  noun  suc·cess \sək-ˈses\

  • The fact of getting or achieving wealth [aim for at least being able to pay your share at the pizza joint with your peeps], respect [except from haters. Haters suck. You know them when you see them], or fame [Retweets from legit famous people totally count]
  • The correct or desired result of an attempt [You tried, man. Okay you didn’t really try, but at least you didn’t cheat]
  • Someone or something that is successful [hey, you saw the Republican Convention. Those are, objectively speaking, successful people. That’s the new standard] : a person or thing that succeeds [if such a person or thing truly exists. Who can say?]