Merriam-Webster elegantly tweet-slaps sexist 'Doctor Who' trolls

Commentary: Doctor Who is a woman. Shock. Horror. The dictionary comes along on Twitter to remind the trolls of a simple linguistic fact.

Chris Matyszczyk
2 min read

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Your new doctor is in the house. Please politely say hullo.

Ben Gabbe

Some of the reaction was inevitable.

Allegedly grown men lamenting that their childhood has been retroactively destroyed by a politically correct Dalek uprising. Alleged non-sexists weeping that yet another bastion of, well, male intelligence has fallen foul of our dissolute modern ways. 

Oh and allegedly intelligent men screeching that the Cybermen will now be Cyberpersons.

They were all howling at the fact that Jodie Whittaker will be the 13th Doctor Who

While many on Twitter countered the painful lack of imagination, the rampant hypocrisy and the rancid sanctimoniousness, Merriam-Webster offered something so sweetly factual as to be disarming in the extreme.

"'Doctor' has no gender in English," the dictionary tweeted

Well, indeed. Who hasn't turned up at the doctor's office to be seen by a professional of one gender or another? Did it really make a difference?

Naturally, there were those who sniffed at Merriam-Webster that Time Lord is not Time Lady. Perhaps they need a little time out.

Merriam-Webster has enjoyed a high-level of Twitter humor for some time. Who could not be amused, for example, when the dictionary used Apple fans to define the context of "sheeple" and tweeted it with mischievous glee?

While I'm here, though, is anyone really miffed that a character who seems to have been played by more actors than God is now going to be played by a woman?

What did all the previous doctors have in common? It's not as if they had the same British accents, the same colored hair or the same cheery bonhomie. The only thing that, to my mind, brought several of them together was that they made a lot of money as voice-overs in ads.

Isn't it better to be grateful that a very fine actor -- Whittaker is wonderful in "Broadchurch" -- has agreed to take the part?

A software engineer named Hannah nicely summed up all the wails and lamentations in one tweet.

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