New Words: Amazon Wants Me to ‘Checkout’?

New words emerge in our lexicon all the time. Each of us has to decide if we want to be at the leading edge of the language evolution.

As a writer and ruthless editor, I need to stay abreast of changes, but I generally prefer to wait for my most-respected sources to get on board before I adopt new usage.

The Associated Press Stylebook still considers check out the verb form to express, for example, the action of vacating and paying for a hotel room; agreeing on terms for borrowing a book from a library; looking at or examining something; or finalizing a purchase at a retail store, a grocery store — or online.

Yet when I recently was invited to join Amazon’s MYHABIT, where I can purchase designer brands at up to 60% off, the email promotion said:

Powered by Amazon: Sign in and checkout with your existing Amazon account


I’m familiar with being able to check in, check up, check on, check with, check back and check out.

And I know where to go to get a checkup for my health, my teeth, my dog or my car.

I also know how to find the checkout lane at a store or the time a hotel requires checkout.

But I didn’t know I could ‘checkout’ using my existing Amazon account.

If you’re a cutting-edge word user, Google has links for new words added to The Oxford Dictionary, the Scrabble dictionary (5,000 new words!), Merriam-Webster dictionaries and more.

Rapid advances in technology are responsible for a slew of new words that now have earned dictionary recognition. Selfie, although around for some time — would you believe the first selfie was snapped a century ago?! — has finally achieved dictionary status. Here’s the link that you can checkout check out.

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Kathy Watson

Kathy Watson has a love/hate relationship with grammar; she loves words and the punctuation that helps them make sense, yet she hates those pesky rules. A self-proclaimed ruthless editor, she prefers standard usage guidelines of The Associated Press Stylebook. Her easy-to-use Grammar for People Who Hate Rules helps people write and speak with authority and confidence. She encourages and welcomes questions and comments. (Email)