McDonald's executives say the definition is demeaning to its workers. "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 workforce and a company that's been a jobs and opportunity machine for 50 years."But McDonald's doesn't get it. The function of a dictionary is not to avoid offense or to judge the veracity of a word's meaning; it is merely to document a language. Unless you've been living in a cultural deprivation chamber for the past decade, you know what a McJob is. Regardless of whether McDonald's likes the term, Oxford's definition is indeed accurate: "an unstimulating, low-paid job with few prospects, esp. one created by the expansion of the service sector." Surely the Oxford folks have no intention of kowtowing to this corporate whiner.
Wednesday, March 21, 2007
McDonald's Doesn't Get It
When I saw the teaser, "McDONALD'S vs. DICTIONARIES. It wants one word expunged," I knew it had to be about "McJob," a word I learned from Douglas Coupland's Generation X about 15 years ago. The fast food giant failed to convince Merriam-Webster to remove the word several years ago, and now the Oxford English Dictionary is in the corporate crosshairs: