Merriam-Webster shuts down writer who said Dr. Jill Biden shouldn't use her titleBy Mark Pygas
Dec. 14 2020, Updated 9:01 a.m. ET
In case you missed it, an opinion writer for the Wall Street Journal recently caused some outrage when he suggested that future First Lady Jill Biden — who holds a Doctorate in Education from the University of Delaware — should not use her title because she’s not a medical doctor.
“As for your Ed.D., Madame First Lady, hard-earned though it may have been, please consider stowing it, at least in public, at least for now,” Joseph Epstein wrote. “Forget the small thrill of being Dr. Jill, and settle for the larger thrill of living for the next four years in the best public housing in the world as First Lady Jill Biden.”
Unsurprisingly, the comments sparked some outrage online, including from Biden’s spokesman, Michael LaRosa, who wrote: [Joseph Epstein] and the [Wall Street Journal] should be embarrassed to print the disgusting and sexist attack on [Dr. Biden] running on the [Wall Street Journal Opionion] page. If you had any respect for women at all you would remove this repugnant display of chauvinism from your paper and apologize to her."
Perhaps the most perfect response came from Merriam-Webster's Twitter account, who wrote: "The word 'doctor' comes from the Latin word for 'teacher.'"
Merriam-Webster also linked to page for the word doctor, which explains further: "The English language history of doctor starts in the early 14th century, when the word was first applied to a select few who likely knew neither bloodwork nor basketwork. They were equipped for dealing with matters of the soul: they were eminent theologians who had a special seal of approval from the Roman Catholic Church as people able to talk about and explain the doctrines of the Church. They were teachers of a kind, and the word's origin makes this connection. The word doctor comes from the Latin word for 'teacher,' itself from docēre, meaning 'to teach.'"
People loved Merriam-Webster's roast, with one user writing: "Merriam Webster has been trolling for years and I love every single jot and tittle of it."
While another added: "Whoever runs your social media needs a raise."