Most people assume that the dictionary is a static, fixed thing—the place where English is codified, formalized, memorialized. But in reality, the dictionary is an ever-changing cross-section of a living language. It follows its speakers like a dog tailing a messy eater, gobbling up everything it can.

—Merriam-Webster lexicographer Kory Stamper, in the Washington Post, on word spikes, lookups, and the surprising ways people use the dictionary during election season.