Washington • In March 2017, then-Rep. Jason Chaffetz, R-Utah, sent out a seemingly innocuous tweet announcing a business meeting of his House Oversight and Government Reform Committee.
Under fire for his lack of investigations of President Donald Trump after his vigorous and numerous probes of Hillary Clinton, the Twitterverse was having none of it. Nearly 130 users liked the tweet, another 28 retweeted it.
But 737 people reacted – and not kindly.
It was, for the most part, the first inkling of a new action that would earn its own hashtag and name called “ratioed.”
The word appears to have been sparked by a rather negative response to a social media post: When far more people would rather comment and criticize you than support you, you’ve been ratioed.
It happened again this week as former Starbucks CEO Howard Schultz announced on Twitter he was “seriously considering running for president as a centrist independent.” The response was swift and not nice.
While 19,000 users at last count liked the tweet, some 39,000 others denounced Schultz.
Ratioed, sometimes referred to as ratio’d, is a term now becoming so common that Merriam-Webster’s Dictionary says it’s among the new words it’s following.
“Right now, this new verb is limited to Twitter interactions,” the dictionary's website reported. “Only time will tell if we will start ratioing one another in real life.”
As for Chaffetz, he laughed when asked about the new term and wondered if he’d misheard the question. When it was explained, the former congressman and Fox News contributor said he was proud to have been the inspiration and would start “using that more now. We’re going to have to make that a permanent thing.”
“It’s always good to be in good favor with Merriam’s dictionary,” Chaffetz said. “What an honor.”