Wednesday, June 06, 2007

The Word Police Have Run Amok

Time magazine on-line ran an article yesterday about efforts by the McDonald's corporation to get the Oxford English Dictionary (OED) to redefine the word "McJob". According to the Time article
In 2001, the term finally entered the Oxford English Dictionary, which defined it as "an unstimulating, low-paid job with few prospects, especially one created by the expansion of the service sector." And it has remained there ever since. But not for much longer if McDonald's gets its way.

The company is leading a "word battle" on behalf of the wider service sector. The object, according to David Fairhurst, a senior vice-president of McDonald's, is to change the definition of McJob to "reflect a job that is stimulating, rewarding ... and offers skills that last a lifetime."
McDonald's reasoning? "[T]that the OED's definition was 'outdated' and 'insulting.'"

This gives me a wonderful idea. Having been called a "bitch" (to my face at least once) by students, I should lobby the OED (on behalf of bitches everywhere) to change the definition of "bitch" which is currently "malicious or treacherous woman;" to something more like "a woman with keen intellect and low tolerance for idiots and fools." Unfortunately I fear I don't have the financial resources of McDonald's to mount the lobbying campaign. The current definition is certainly "insulting" and probably outdated.

No comments: