Leave it to a dictionary to demonstrate the potency of a few well-chosen words.
On Monday, Merriam-Webster‘s Twitter account elegantly rebutted internet trolls complaining about the casting of a female Doctor Who with one simple statement: “‘Doctor’ has no gender in English.”
The language lesson came a day after the BBC announced that Attack the Block and Broadchurch actress Jodie Whittaker will be the new face of Doctor Who, taking over from Peter Capaldi and becoming the first woman to portray the titular Time Lord.
As fans of the series know, the Doctor hails from an extraterrestrial species whose members travel through time and space, have two hearts, and regenerate into a new physical form when mortally wounded or otherwise dying. That last wrinkle has allowed the Doctor to be played by more than a dozen different performers since the show debuted in 1963.
Naysayers notwithstanding, Whittaker’s casting was widely applauded, including by former Doctor Who stars and other celebrities.