I’ll admit it: I’m an unabashed Apple fanboy. I spent far too much on a Macbook Pro with specs that would cost half as much in the Windows world, I love my pair of ridiculous-looking and easily misplaced AirPods and I may or may not have a box full of old Newtons and Mac 512K parts. There’s a term for folks like me, and Merriam-Webster just made it official: “Sheeple.” The dictionary’s editors just added the term, calling out its sick burn to Apple fans in a tweet.
The new entry says that sheeple are those “people who are docile, compliant, or easily influenced: People likened to sheep.” Which sounds fine until you read the final contextual sentence. “Apple’s debuted a battery case for the juice-sucking iPhone — an ungainly lumpy case the sheeple will happily shell out $99 for.” This lovely quote comes from CNN’s Doug Criss back in 2015 as part of his “5 Things” column. Thanks, Doug. The word sheeple itself, though, has been in use since 1945, according to the dictionary page.
Merriam-Webster’s Twitter account has become a surprise hit with the shade it keeps throwing at Trump and his administration. It’s subtweeted Education Secretary Betsy DeVos’ use of the word “historical,” confronted Kellyanne Conway’s use of “alternative facts” and schooled Sean Spicer with an explanation tweet defining “claquer,” or a group of people paid to applaud a speaker.
Being a fan of Apple’s well-designed consumer devices isn’t too tough a row to hoe, of course, but it is a little grating to know that even the dictionary thinks you’re too easily influenced by Apple’s shiny gadgets. I’ll just have to console myself by grabbing one of those neat Smart Battery Cases.