Merriam-Webster adds ‘tweet,’ other new words

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Others, like cougar _ an often unflattering term for a middle-aged woman on the hunt for a younger man _ might not have made it into the dictionary because of their slang roots, but became too widely used to overlook.

The music genre known as Americana, with roots in early folk and country music, has been popular in certain circles for years, but gained enough widespread attention recently to place the term among other new dictionary entries.

The Grammy Awards have included a separate category for the best Americana album since 2009, and some of its best-known musicians _ including John Hiatt, Emmylou Harris, Levon Helm and Steve Earle _ have had crossover success on other genres’ hit charts.

Jed Hilly, executive director of the 12-year-old Nashville, Tenn.-based nonprofit Americana Music Association, said news of the word’s inclusion in the dictionary has spawned jokes about making T-shirts bearing the word and the invitation, “Look it up!”

“It’s still a little off the radar because we’re not super commercial, but there are a lot of people who will be very excited about this,” Hilly said.

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Online: http://www.merriam-webster.com

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