Signs of the Times

McCain Getting Credit for New "Earmark" Definition in Dictionary

Arizona Senator John McCain is getting credit from Merriam-Webster Inc. for the company's inclusion of a new definition of "earmark" in the dictionary.

The company recently added about 100 words to its dictionary, including "sock puppet," "staycation," and "zip line."

Arizona may have missed out on some of its own earmarks thanks to the senator's anti-pork campaign, but ironically, McCain's frequent use of the word hasn't resulted in much change in Washington D.C. There's earmarking aplenty going on, but it was never really that much of an issue, anyway, since earmarks only about to about 1 percent of the federal budget.

Arizona Republican Congressman Jeff Flake, another foe of earmarks, has an amusing quote about the word's elevation to officialdom in a recent blog post by Arizona Republic writer Dan Nowicki,

Appropriators have been trying to find the word 'earmark' in the Constitution for years. At least now they'll be able to find it in the dictionary.

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Ray Stern has worked as a newspaper reporter in Arizona for more than two decades. He's won numerous awards for his reporting, including the Arizona Press Club's Don Bolles Award for Investigative Journalism.