Skip to comments.Can McDonald's Alter the Dictionary? (McJobs)
Posted on 06/09/2007 11:03:26 AM PDT by bamahead
The late Austrian philosopher Ludwig Wittgenstein once said that the meaning of a word was derived from the way it is used in language. Not according to McDonald's. The fast-food giant is currently lobbying dictionary publishers to change the meaning of the word McJob or remove it altogether on the grounds that it denigrates the company's employees.
First used some 20 years ago in the United States to describe low-paying, low-skill jobs that offered little prospect of advancement, the term McJob was popularized by the author Douglas Coupland in his 1991 slacker ode Generation X, which chronicled the efforts of a "lost" generation of twenty-somethings to escape their dead-end jobs in an attempt to find meaning in life.
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."
This time, however, could be different not least because of the size of McDonald's war chest and its lobbying power. The campaign has already the garnered the support of heavyweight business figures such as Chambers of Commerce Director General David Frost. More impressively, Conservative party Member of Parliament Clive Betts last week introduced a motion into Britain's parliament condemning the pejorative use of McJob. Betts believes the OED should redefine the term....
(Excerpt) Read more at time.com ...
"Spam" with an uppercase "S" is supposed to refer to the mystery meat.
It doesn’t demean the employees, nor does it demean the Company. It is descriptive though.
You capitalist pig You.
At least until thee are no capitalist "pigs."
How can McDonald’s censor a dictionary? Or censor people’s usage of the term “McJobs”? If people use that term, and understand what it means, that’s why it’s in the dictionary.
Probably Mickie D’s can just do a public relations campaign about how great their career opportunities are and leave it at that. People talk in bad terms about working at Wal-Mart, Target, Sears, and a hundred other places too.
Google has officially objected to the verb "to google". And long before Google was Xerox. In those cases, it was just a proforma thing to protect the trademark, although some might argue Google is on thin ice when it comes to intellectual property disputes.
And beyond trademarks, we have the example of the common noun "lewinsky".
Seems sad for some reason.
The purpose of dictionaries is to describe, not to prescribe. It's a word if people are uttering it.
McRibs have altered genetics, let alone the dictionary
My 31 year old son has a McJob. I’m very proud of him. He needs this type of job for reasons I won’t go into but he shows up, does it well, and has in fact, found a way in it to help his community. We are encouraging him to stick it out for at least a year because staying with it is a way to help him grow at this time in his life. It changes your perspective on the low level service jobs when someone you love has one. They are almost always transistion jobs.
McDonald's is all you make of it, if you want to use it to your advantage for what it is.
I am old enough to remember when we were happy to have a job that paid regular and you could have year around, I never look down or think less of people that work there, I remember when I was one of them.
As is any endeavor.