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McJob

A discussion of word histories and origins.

McJob

Postby Stargzer » Wed Mar 21, 2007 10:32 pm

This seems like the most appropriate place to post this. McDonald's, having failed with Merriam-Webster, is now trying to convince the Oxford English Dictionary to remove McJob or change the definition.

Story: McDonald's Seeks to Redefine 'McJobs'

The Oxford English Dictionary, considered by many wordsmiths as the gold standard for the English language, is one of those that will be targeted. It defines the noun as "an unstimulating, low-paid job with few prospects, esp. one created by the expansion of the service sector."

The word first cropped up two decades ago in the Washington Post, according to the dictionary. But executives at Oak Brook, Ill.-based McDonald's say the definition is demeaning to its workers and say theyll ask dictionary editors to amend the 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."


Actually, dictionaries are supposed to be accurate, but they are also supposed to document the language as it is used by the speakers.
Regards//Larry

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Postby gailr » Thu Mar 22, 2007 12:28 am

McJob is immediately understood--and accepted as an unfortunate truth-- by the public, or it would not be passing into common speech. Sorry, PR lawyers, but you won't win this battle in the 'culture war', even if you can win individual skirmishes with dictionaries.

This post reminds me of a tv ad that's been cycling lately here. Soothing VO: It's been said that when Walmart comes to town, it's like getting a nice pay raise.

Skeptic: Who? Where? Was this, by chance, overheard in the Marketing Department?
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Postby Perry » Thu Mar 22, 2007 8:06 am

It's been said that when Walmart comes to town, it's like getting a nice pay raise.


Except by those who work there apparently.
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Postby skinem » Thu Mar 22, 2007 9:27 am

McDonald's has led to several words over the years...

I've heard "USA Today" referred to as "the McPaper".

I've heard students refer to "Channel One News" and the McNews"

And, of course, the proliferation of upscale, oversized homes as "McMansions".

I think McDonald's has an uphill battle...
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Postby gailr » Thu Mar 22, 2007 7:13 pm

skinem wrote:And, of course, the proliferation of upscale, oversized homes as "McMansions".

Brands so successful that they became generic product names used to be referred to as eponyms.

A term used now is genericide, which certainly sounds more dramatic and in urgent need of legal reprisal. When a corporation such as McDonalds takes an "Engulf and Devour" position to global marketing, it creates the familiarity which breeds contempt. Your example of McMansions is a good one, skinem; they may be costly or situated in desirable areas, but they carry the taint of vulgarity. (See parvenu...)
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Postby sluggo » Fri Mar 23, 2007 12:17 pm

McD is prolly shooting themselves in the proverbial Mcfoot by drawing attention to a word I for one have never heard.

One wonders what they would have the definition changed to.

Is Macbeth to be considered one of the Bard's lesser worx?
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Postby Perry » Fri Mar 23, 2007 2:38 pm

Well, would the antonym be Perejob?
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Postby gailr » Sat Mar 24, 2007 1:14 am

Perry wrote:Well, would the antonym be Perejob?
Interesting question, as neither father nor sons are named for Job. Yet replacement daughters are. Jemima ferch Job sounds like someone not to be trifled with, someone who would probably not dine at Chez Mac.
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Postby melissa » Tue Jun 12, 2007 10:12 pm

carry the taint of vulgarity.

Yes when you choose to make yourself part of the language, you pay that price. too bad your price involved exploiting your employees. not your choice, but live with it.
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