Here’s why Merriam-Webster recycled madeleine as its Word of the Day yesterday: this week’s words are a form of advertising, “dreamy” words promoting the DVD release of the 2013 film The Secret Life of Walter Mitty. The Wall Street Journal explains it all for you:
The [Word of the Day] page and email are peppered with banner ads for the DVD release — a more typical form of web advertising — but the text itself reads like “sponsored content,” ads meant to look and feel like the publishers’ original content.The Journal quotes Merriam-Webster editor-at-large Peter Sokolowski: “People take us as a public service,” he said. “Nevertheless, we are a business.”
Yes, Merriam-Webster, Inc. is a business. But it never occurred to me that the Word of the Day was promoting anything other than Merriam-Webster itself. I miss so much by using an ad-blocking extension in my browser.