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."
"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?