Searches For The Word "Lepo" Are Up During The Final Debate & It's Not The First Time People Are Confused
You may have known going into the final debate that this last face-to-face standoff between Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump was going to be a doozy, but one of the more depressing moments of the night had nothing to do with anything either candidate said, but rather with what viewers were searching as Clinton and Trump discussed international policy and strategy in Syria. According to Merriam-Webster, more people were looking up the meaning of "Lepo" instead of "Aleppo" during the night's debate, and the worst part? This isn't the first time this has happened.
To be clear, the word both Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump were using in the final third of Wednesday night's debate was "Aleppo," a city in Syria that has been horribly ravaged by violence and civil war. But, either people weren't closely paying attention to what either candidate was talking about at that moment, or they haven't been closely paying attention to the news at all, because as Merriam-Webster Dictionary tweeted during the debate, searches for the word "Lepo" were on the rise — people didn't have a clue what that strange phrase both candidates kept tossing around could mean. And if such a disheartening number of people didn't even know what Trump or Clinton were talking about, it seems likely that they probably also didn't know enough information to form their own opinions about each candidate's plans for U.S. involvement.
What makes this even more depressing is the fact that Merriam-Webster has reported this trend before. During the second presidential debate on Oct. 9, the word "Lepo" was at the top of the list of most looked up words of the night. Some other terms that had people puzzled? Bigly, demagogue, bipartisan, and locker-room.
This time around, there were a few other head-scratching catchphrases that popped up, with notables including ombre, hombre, and entitlement.
I know, I know. Words can be hard — but they're also really, really important. And, in an election as high stakes and controversial as this one, it's important to know what the heck your candidates are even talking about in order to be an informed voter. Go ahead and google away if you don't know what a particular word means, but as Merriam-Webster pointed out in its tweet on Wednesday night, it's scary to think that this late in the game, people still have to search a word like "Aleppo."
Luckily, Merriam-Webster has you covered. If you aren't following the dictionary's Twitter account, you should be — if only because it might help you learn a thing or two:
The election is only a few weeks away. I don't mean to sound like your middle school grammar teacher or anything, but it might be helpful to make yourself a few vocab flashcards before you hit the polls come Nov. 8.