“Sometimes the dictionary definition of a word just doesn’t cut it,” Jon M. Chang reports for ABC News. “Ask Becca Gorman, a student at Lincoln-Sudbury Regional High School in Massachusetts, who was writing an essay about gay rights when she saw something that she found offensive on her MacBook. When looking up the definition of the word ‘gay’ on her laptop, she saw that Apple’s dictionary also included its informal definition, meaning foolish or stupid.”
“Gorman, whose parents are lesbians, wrote an email to Apple CEO Tim Cook, saying that she objected to the inclusion of gay’s informal definition. ‘I’m sure he did too, being [part of] a gay-friendly company,'” Chang reports. “She got a call from an Apple representative about an hour after she sent her email. ‘They told me it’s so hard to track the dictionaries they’re getting sources from,’ said Gorman. The representative was also shocked at the offensive definition, and that the company would look into the problem.”
Read more in the full article here.
MacDailyNews Take: Dictionaries are collections of words. They are tools meant to accurately reflect the language they catalog. Some words are offensive. Some contain offensive definitions because they are, in fact, offensive. In Apple’s Dictionary (New Oxford American Dictionary, 3rd Edition and Oxford American Writer’s Thesaurus, 2nd Edition) the usage is already clearly labeled “offensive.”
Use Apple’s dictionary to look up the definitions for other hot-button offensive words. They’re all there, too.
We’re fairly sure that Jewish people aren’t thrilled with the dictionary definition of the verb “jew,” but it’s there:
Do you want your dictionary to be accurate or do you want it to first be sanitized by The Ministry of Truth?
It’s a slippery slope. On the other side of the equation, iOS contains emoji glyphs that feature what some consider to be homosexual couples that might be offensive some. Do those who are offended get to remove those images, too?
[Thanks to MacDailyNews Reader “Chris V.” for the heads up.]
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