Thursday, March 22, 2007


Here is a gleaming log of solid gold bullshit if I've ever seen one. McDonald's is once again attempting to get the Oxford English Dictionary to drop "mcjob" from its inventory of words - or at least change the definition. Currently, a "mcjob" is apparently

An unstimulating, low-paid job with few prospects, esp. one created by the expansion of the service sector.

I don't actually use the word myself, but that's more or less what I'd assume it meant if I heard it. Of course, McDonald's thinks differently. Jim Cantalupo, former CEO of McDonald's (he died suddenly of a heart attack in 2003), wrote an angry letter to Merriam-Webster (which also includes the word in its hardback edition) saying that the entry was totally inaccurate and that "Teaches responsibility" might be a more appropriate definition.

"Dictionaries are supposed to be paragons of accuracy. And in this case, they got it completely wrong," said Walt Riker, a McDonald's spokesman. "It's a complete disservice and incredibly demeaning to a terrific work force and a company that's been a jobs and opportunity machine for 50 years."

Oh, stop it! "Innacurate" would be printing a definition that had nothing to do with the way the word in question is actually used. People use the word to mean a dead-end, low-paid, life-sapping service sector job. End of story. Doesn't matter whether that accurately describes work life at McDonalds (though I'd be surprised if it didn't!). The dictionary reports, you decide. Or something.

Fortunately as a consumer I have a vote here. I can simply stop spending money at Mickey-D's. And I will. Who wants to support an organization that bullies the dictionary when it doesn't get its way?


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