Jeff Bezos’s explosive blog post about The National Enquirer produced dozens of talking points—but for some the key takeaway was the Amazon chief’s use of the word “complexifier”.
In a post published on Medium in which Mr Bezos said he was the target of “extortion and blackmail” from the tabloid’s publisher American Media Inc.
He also described the difficulties owning The Washington Post has caused him.
“My ownership of The Washington Post is a complexifier for me,” Mr Bezos wrote.
“It’s unavoidable that certain powerful people who experience Washington Post news coverage will wrongly conclude I am their enemy.”
While details of the alleged blackmail made headlines all over the world, for some it was this sentence that stood out.
Some people were outraged by the use of the unusual word.
Not everyone saw the problem though.
Others just thought there were better ways of putting the information across.
Can you use the word in a sentence?
But for anyone worried about whether or not “complexifier” is a real word, an adjudication wasn’t long in coming.
Peter Sokolowski, a lexicographer at Merriam-Webster dictionaries, said it was a “perfectly good derivative noun”.
Meanwhile, another word—“apoplectic”—which was used to describe Enquirer publisher David Pecker in the post, trended in Merriam-Webster’s searches.
And Dictionary.com offered its own lexicographical take on the story.