There's a difference between throwing shade and making an important point.
When Dictionary.com tweeted out a definition of the word "self-made" it was accused of the former. But, was it really throwing shade, or was this simply a distinction that needed to be made?
On Wednesday, Kylie Jenner's first Forbes cover was unveiled. "At 21, she's set to be the youngest-ever self-made billionaire," reads the cover. "Welcome to the era of extreme fame leverage."
In the piece, Forbes discusses how Jenner — a member of the Kardashian-Jenner family — built a "900 million fortune in less than 3 years."
Not long after, Dictionary.com quote-tweeted Forbes alongside a definition of the word "self-made."
"Self-made means having succeeded in life unaided," reads the definition.
— Dictionary.com (@Dictionarycom) July 11, 2018
People on Twitter were quick to call shade. But, was Dictionary.com really throwing shade at Jenner?
When the dictionary throws shade at you 🤣 https://t.co/YbFZ7EQ3OU
— 🦄 GraveyardBetty🦄 (@graveyard_betty) July 12, 2018
Dictionary, show me the definition of "savage" https://t.co/J4PMytUtah
— Karisa Maxwell (@KarisaMaxwell) July 11, 2018
Writer Roxane Gay stated that it wasn't actually shade to point out that Jenner "isn't self-made."
"She grew up in a wealthy, famous family," wrote Gay. "Her success is commendable but it comes by virtue of her privilege."
It is not shade to point out that Kylie Jenner isn’t self-made. She grew up in a wealthy, famous family. Her success is commendable but it comes by virtue of her privilege. Words have meanings and it behooves a dictionary to remind us of that. https://t.co/2HzIJbLb8q
— roxane gay (@rgay) July 11, 2018
"Words have meanings and it behooves a dictionary to remind us of that," she added.
Gay has a very good point. What are dictionaries for, if not to inform us of words' correct meaning?