Merriam-Webster’s Word of the Day for June 7, 2020 is:
advocate • AD-vuh-kayt • verb
: to support or argue for (a cause, policy, etc.) : to plead in favor of
“During quarantine, teachers are broadcasting lessons from their own homes and figuring out new remote-learning technology and platforms on the fly, all while continuing to educate and connect with our kids. Advocating for the children of the world is no easy task, so I wanted to show teachers a little extra love right now.” — Reese Witherspoon, quoted in The Hollywood Reporter, 2 Apr. 2020
“As a journalist, [Zimbabwean Zororo] Makamba often used his platform to advocate for reform and transparency. In his online talk show, ‘State of the Nation,’ as well as appearances on other current affairs programs, Makamba argued for renewable energy, school reform, anti-corruption measures and youth empowerment.” — Andrew R. Chow, Time, 3 Apr. 2020
Did you know?
Benjamin Franklin may have been a great innovator in science and politics, but on the subject of advocate, he was against change. In 1789, he wrote a letter to his compatriot Noah Webster complaining about a “new word”: the verb advocate. Like others of his day, Franklin knew advocate primarily as a noun meaning “one who pleads the cause of another,” and he urged Webster to condemn the verb’s use. In truth, the verb wasn’t as new as Franklin assumed (etymologists have traced it back as far as 1599), though it was apparently surging in popularity in his day. Webster evidently did not heed Franklin’s plea. His famous 1828 dictionary, An American Dictionary of the English Language, entered both the noun and the verb senses of advocate.