Nigel Campbell's picture

Apple Dictionary Defines Gay As 'Foolish', 'Stupid'

When you look up the word "gay" in the dictionary is the third definition, below, what you expect to find?

15-year-old Becca Gorman was shocked to find the third definition as she prepped a research project for school last week. 

As seen in the screen cap that Gorman captured, the definition of "gay" provided by the dictionary application on her MacBook Pro laptop describes "gay" as "foolish; stupid." The contextual example provided only drives the negative connotation home: "making students wait for the light is kind of a gay rule."

Metro West Daily News writes:

"At first, I was kind of in disbelief," the Lincoln-Sudbury High sophomore said, adding she couldn't find any other dictionaries that used that particular definition except to denounce it as derogatory.

Gorman, whose parents are lesbians, said she's used to hearing the term "that's so gay" thrown around in everyday conversations around her, but was hurt that a "humongous company" like Apple would legitimize it in its own application.

"I felt like they had to take care of it," she said.

Gorman then emailed Apple CEO Tim Cook, saying: 

"I assume that you are a pro-gay company, and would never intend for any one of your products to be as offensive as this definition was. Even with your addition of the word informal, this definition normalizes the terrible derogatory twist that many people put on the word 'gay.'"

To her surprise, Gorman received a phone call at home from someone from Apple an hour later.

"They told me it's so hard to track the dictionaries they're getting sources from, and that they were also shocked themselves," Gorman said.

But while the representative indicated Apple would look into the problem, the dictionary hasn't been changed, she said.

"I feel like we're going to have to make a bigger deal about it before they actually act on it," she said.

What do you think of the inclusion of the offensive definition? Does it legitimize the pejorative usage?

How quickly will Apple fix the problem?


Image Source (H/T: NNNext )



Tim Cook is gay. I doubt he approves. 

Tim Cook is gay. I doubt he approves. 

They are using the same definition as the Oxford Dictionary. I think it is great if they remove it but it seems this battle is just misdirected.

I would like to know if other words are in the dictionary that are considered offensive by other minority groups as well. 

I do appreciate that someone looked and did in fact see that it says informal, often offensive because that is in fact true. 

Now that the issue has been brought to their attention I would like to see it fixed. No need to "wait for the next update" as it were. 

As a rule, the definitions of words in dictionaries aren't about what we think they are supposed to mean, but how the words are used.  If we want to eliminate the definition from the dictionary we have to eliminate that useage of the word.

I just looked it up and as a gay person I can say I'm not offended. Here's why: they specify, in italics, before the definition that it is informal, often offensive. Is that not true?

Where do you think that so-called definition came from? People hating on LGBT.
This is NOT acceptable.

I'm gay. Don't mind that definition. Some things are 

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