Published July 20, 2009
A word commonly muttered in Congress by those looking to control spending has now made its way into the dictionary.
Merriam-Webster Inc. announced in early July that the word "earmark" -- used to describe pork-barrel spending projects both loved and loathed by lawmakers -- is now a part of the dictionary, according to a report published Monday in The Washington Times.
Merriam-Webster reportedly has credited Arizona Sen. John McCain, the 2008 Republican presidential candidate, for forcing the word into the lexicon.
"I don't doubt it's been an important part of the Beltway lingo or other statehouses around the land for quite some time, but it was clearly the 2008 election that launched it into a household term," Thomas Pitoniak, associate editor at Merriam-Webster, told the newspaper.