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Can McDonald's Alter the Dictionary? (McJobs)
Time.com ^ | June 5, 2007 | Christopher Thompson

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 ...


TOPICS: Business/Economy; Culture/Society; News/Current Events
KEYWORDS: mcdonalds; mcjobs

1 posted on 06/09/2007 11:03:29 AM PDT by bamahead
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To: bamahead
Hormel did something similar with the term "spam." They wanted to ensure that someone referring to unsolicited commercial email who wanted to use the term "spam" to describe it use the word with a lowercase "s."

"Spam" with an uppercase "S" is supposed to refer to the mystery meat.

2 posted on 06/09/2007 11:06:53 AM PDT by pnh102
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To: bamahead
Oh Mcmy! They should just print their own McDictionary then.
3 posted on 06/09/2007 11:07:40 AM PDT by kinoxi
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To: bamahead

4 posted on 06/09/2007 11:07:45 AM PDT by bamahead (Few men desire liberty; The majority are satisfied with a just master. -- Sallust)
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To: bamahead
the word McJob

How is that a word?
5 posted on 06/09/2007 11:09:47 AM PDT by Vision ("Blessed is the man who trusts in the Lord, whose confidence is in him." Jeremiah 17:7)
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To: bamahead

It doesn’t demean the employees, nor does it demean the Company. It is descriptive though.


6 posted on 06/09/2007 11:12:35 AM PDT by donmeaker (You may not be interested in War but War is interested in you.)
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To: bamahead
Whole books have been written about this.

The author is a business school professor.

7 posted on 06/09/2007 11:14:13 AM PDT by cynwoody
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McDonalds

You capitalist pig You.

At least until thee are no capitalist "pigs."

8 posted on 06/09/2007 11:14:16 AM PDT by Jakarta ex-pat
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To: Vision

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.


9 posted on 06/09/2007 11:14:19 AM PDT by Dilbert San Diego
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To: Vision
How is that a word? "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.""
10 posted on 06/09/2007 11:19:29 AM PDT by bamahead (Few men desire liberty; The majority are satisfied with a just master. -- Sallust)
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To: Dilbert San Diego
If people use that term, and understand what it means, that’s why it’s in the dictionary.

There used to be an official group who would add new words every few years or so. Otherwise it wasn't considered a word.
11 posted on 06/09/2007 11:19:33 AM PDT by Vision ("Blessed is the man who trusts in the Lord, whose confidence is in him." Jeremiah 17:7)
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To: pnh102
Hormel did something similar with the term "spam."

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".

12 posted on 06/09/2007 11:20:59 AM PDT by cynwoody
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To: bamahead

Seems sad for some reason.


13 posted on 06/09/2007 11:22:36 AM PDT by Vision ("Blessed is the man who trusts in the Lord, whose confidence is in him." Jeremiah 17:7)
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To: Vision
There used to be an official group who would add new words every few years or so. Otherwise it wasn't considered a word.

The purpose of dictionaries is to describe, not to prescribe. It's a word if people are uttering it.

14 posted on 06/09/2007 11:28:14 AM PDT by cynwoody
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To: bamahead

McRibs have altered genetics, let alone the dictionary


15 posted on 06/09/2007 11:31:04 AM PDT by llevrok (Mexico? Pffft!!! Build a wall between Alaska and Canada, Now!)
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To: bamahead

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.


16 posted on 06/09/2007 11:31:59 AM PDT by Mercat
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To: cynwoody
How big of you to decide that for everyone.
17 posted on 06/09/2007 11:32:18 AM PDT by Vision ("Blessed is the man who trusts in the Lord, whose confidence is in him." Jeremiah 17:7)
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To: bamahead

McMansion

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/McMansion

18 posted on 06/09/2007 11:36:48 AM PDT by lowbridge ("The mainstream media IS the Democratic Party." - Rush Limbaugh)
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To: Mercat
I agree, as far as starter jobs go McDonald's is a great choice for a teenager who needs some spending cash. I went to high school with a guy who worked there back in '81 and he is still there, I think he is a district manager now pulling down quite a nice income.

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.

19 posted on 06/09/2007 11:44:00 AM PDT by Abathar (Proudly catching hell for posting without reading the article since 2004)
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To: Abathar
McDonald's is all you make of it,...

As is any endeavor.

20 posted on 06/09/2007 11:48:50 AM PDT by Inquisitive1 (I know nothing except the fact of my ignorance - Socrates)
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To: bamahead

They can fork up their garden all they want but they better leave my back forty alone.


21 posted on 06/09/2007 11:52:41 AM PDT by Old Professer (The critic writes with rapier pen, dips it twice, and writes again.)
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To: lowbridge

Wait until they come after the Mclawyers.


22 posted on 06/09/2007 11:54:44 AM PDT by Old Professer (The critic writes with rapier pen, dips it twice, and writes again.)
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To: lowbridge

It takes more than a McJob to afford a McMansion.


23 posted on 06/09/2007 12:13:21 PM PDT by cynwoody
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To: bamahead

McJob:

(1) What the Washington elite would like every American to have after amnesty is granted to illegal aliens and employment wages equal those of China and other countries with slave labor. (2) The type of jobs that the upper and lower middle classes will be relegated to so they can't compete with the children of the oligrachical elites.


24 posted on 06/09/2007 12:13:56 PM PDT by Cacique (quos Deus vult perdere, prius dementat ( Islamia Delenda Est ))
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To: Abathar
McDonald's is all you make of it

E.g., http://www.westword.com/2005-11-03/news/mr-big/

25 posted on 06/09/2007 12:20:03 PM PDT by cynwoody
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To: Abathar

>>I agree, as far as starter jobs go McDonald’s is a great choice for a teenager who needs some spending cash. I went to high school with a guy who worked there back in ‘81 and he is still there, I think he is a district manager now pulling down quite a nice income.

McDonald’s is all you make of it, if you want to use it to your advantage for what it is.<<

I think that can be true of the service sector in general. Take kids who bag groceries.

I just read about an Ingles grocery manager who started as a bag boy and was making over $100,000 a year.

Unfortunately the reason his salary was in the paper was to make the point that the $7,000 he embezzled was small compared to his salary. He claimed Ingles canceled Christmas bonuses so he stole money to pay the employees himself.

Obviously, stealing is bad, but if he was making $100k in a small town in North Carolina and would steal to help his employees it doesn’t sound like such a dead end, thankless situation.


26 posted on 06/09/2007 12:20:40 PM PDT by gondramB (Do not do to others as you would not wish done to yourself. Thus no murmuring will rise against you.)
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To: Abathar

I worked at McDonald’s when I was fifteen. It wasn’t a lot of money, but it makes quite an impact on you when you realize that the money is yours - not because it’s simply in your pocket, but because you earned it.


27 posted on 06/09/2007 12:27:36 PM PDT by fr_freak
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To: cynwoody
"The purpose of dictionaries is to describe, not to prescribe. It's a word if people are uttering it."

I think that's the way it should be too. However the word, 'marriage' was arbitarily re-defined by at least one major dictionary publisher. It now includes the union of homo on homo, or allows for that definition.

Co-incidentally, that happened at the same time the Mass. Supreme Court re-defined the word, 'marriage' to include homo on homo as well.

Therefore, of course, if it's legally defined in the dictionary as homo on homo, it's legal.

As I said. the timing was just a co-incidence. Uh huh.

28 posted on 06/09/2007 1:36:00 PM PDT by Eastbound
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To: Dilbert San Diego
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.

It's typical corporate arrogance. These people believe that the DMCA enables them to walk on water, compared to which changing cultural history to suit themselves seems like a lesser miracle.

29 posted on 06/09/2007 2:03:10 PM PDT by BlazingArizona
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