A 15-year-old student formally requested Apple remove a definition of the word ‘gay’ from the dictionary feature on its devices after she looked up the word on her MacBook for a history essay on gay rights, and it looks like the company has complied.
“A 15 year old has asked Apple to remove one of the definitions of gay from their dictionary,” Glenn said on radio this morning. “Which one is [s]he asking to remove?”
“She wants the one that she doesn't like removed, of course,” Pat explained. “I mean, you know, there's one she doesn't like in there. And they have three different definitions. One is, you know, a person of homosexual nature. One is a happy, frolicking kind of attitude. And the third is like you sometimes hear the youth culture describe it – it's a disparaging remark… She wants that one removed.”
A history essay on gay rights led a 15-year-old Sudbury girl to take a stand against a giant corporation.
Becca Gorman said she was writing her essay when she typed the word "gay" into her Macbook laptop's dictionary. The two definitions that came up on her screen: "foolish" and "stupid."
Gorman proceeded to fire off an email to Apple CEO Tim Cook, and she heard back from Apple representative “an hour later” explaining the company streams its dictionary from four separate sources so it would take time to figure out how to get that particular definition removed. Gorman told My Fox Boston that the company was “really surprised.”
As of the publication of this story, the definition in question still appears to be a part of the Apple dictionary. Below is a screenshot taken of the Apple dictionary on a MacBook Air:
While the definition in question may be offensive, it is clearly marked ‘informal’ – suggesting that particular definition applies to the slang usage of the word, which, like it or not, is part of the culture today. One has to wonder if honoring one such request opens a Pandora’s box for anyone and everyone who disagrees with the way a word is defined to demand the dictionary be modified. Where do you draw the line?
“I can't take it anymore. You're a dictionary for the love of Pete,” Glenn said. “Of course you put [that] definition in there.”
“How do you remove that from our culture,” Pat asked. “It's amazing.”
Apple is going to remove it from their dictionary, as Glenn described, because of pressure from the politically correct crowd.
“Let's go back ten years,” Stu said. “We would use this as an example: They're going to start removing definitions out of the dictionary for [political correctness].”
“You would call them a conspiracy theorist, crazy person,” Pat lamented. “But they're doing it.”