If anyone can tell you the meaning of the word volunteer, it’s Merriam-Webster. On Monday night, Merriam-Webster – yes, the dictionary – dissed United Airlines on its twitter page in response to the video footage of law enforcement dragging an older passenger from the overbooked plane.
The airline crew asked passengers to volunteer to give up their seats to make room for crew who needed seats. When no one volunteered, they chose people to deplane.
One was the passenger who was forcefully pulled from his seat. The man was screaming and then forcefully dragged off the plane and bleeding.
Merriam-Webster used its tweet to remind United what the word volunteer means. ‘Volunteer’ means “someone who does something without being forced to do it,” the tweet reads.
With all of the attention the video brought to United, it’s no surprise that Merriam-Webster’s diss was popular with social media users.
Chicago Police Department issued a statement saying the passenger was “irate” and “fell,” rather than being physically dragged, despite the video footage to the contrary. Chicago PD were not responsible for the incident.