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McDonald's not lovin' 'McJob' dictionary definition
Thread poster: xxxElena Sgarbo
xxxElena Sgarbo  Identity Verified
Italian to English
+ ...
Nov 8, 2003

Many of us have already purchased the 2003 Merriam-Webster dictionary (CD and all), but some of us had not noticed a new term, "McJob". It's causing quite a stir.

Merriam-Webster dictionary definition:

McJob (mek jäb') n. a low-paying job that requires little skill and provides little opportunity for advancement.


From today's news:

McDonald's not lovin' 'McJob' dictionary definition.

CHICAGO, Illinois (AP) -- McDonald's says it deserves a break from the unflattering way the latest Merriam-Webster's Collegiate Dictionary depicts its job opportunities.

Among some 10,000 new additions to an updated version released in June was the term "McJob," defined as "low paying and dead-end work."

In an open letter to Merriam-Webster, McDonald's CEO Jim Cantalupo said the term is "an inaccurate description of restaurant employment" and "a slap in the face to the 12 million men and women" who work in the restaurant industry.

The company e-mailed the letter to media organizations Friday, and it also was published in the Nov. 3 edition of an industry trade publication.

Cantalupo also wrote that "more than 1,000 of the men and women who own and operate McDonald's restaurants today got their start by serving customers behind the counter."

McDonald's, the world's largest restaurant chain, has more than 30,000 restaurants and more than 400,000 employees.

Walt Riker, a spokesman for McDonald's, said the Oak Brook, Illinois-based fast-food giant also is concerned that "McJob" closely resembles McJOBS, the company's training program for mentally and physically challenged people.

"McJOBS is trademarked and we've notified them that legally that's an issue for us as well," Riker said.

A message left at Merriam-Webster's headquarters in Springfield, Massachussetts, was not immediately returned Friday evening.


http://www.cnn.com/2003/SHOWBIZ/books/11/08/mcjob.dictionary.ap/index.html

[Edited at 2003-11-10 12:58]


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Anthony Green  Identity Verified
Italy
Local time: 08:13
Italian to English
Sounds like a few translation jobs around Nov 10, 2003

McJob would be a useful term to describe some of the many translation jobs which I simply can't afford to do.
(One I looked at - very briefly - last night was 0.02 USD/word)


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sylver  Identity Verified
Local time: 15:13
English to French
Collins Nov 10, 2003

is hardly nicer:

www.wordreference.com/English/definition.asp?en=McJob

and they are not the only ones, far from it. Google returns over 6000 results, when the word "dictionary" is omited (meaning, not pages talking about the present controversy).

In fact, Mc Donald's figures are rather eloquent by themselves: 12 millions folks employed, and only about a 1000 made it to own their Mc Donald restaurant (about 0.009%)* . I am afraid, whether McDo likes it or not, the word "McJob" exists and is in use amongst the general population, with that definition, and thus deserves a place in the dictionary.

I've got nothing against Mc Do in particular, but, that said, I don't really feel like applying for the salaries they offer.

---------

*Sorry, as JLDSF pointed out, that figure is wrong. My mistake. The correct figure is 0.25% (400 000 Mc Do)

[Edited at 2003-11-11 13:43]

[Edited at 2003-11-11 13:44]


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Daina Jauntirans  Identity Verified
Local time: 01:13
Member (2005)
German to English
+ ...
Well... Nov 10, 2003

They can't control how words enter the language, can they?
By the way, I am lovin' the $200 million that Ray Kroc's window left NPR, aren't you? That's just what we needed right about now.


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Silvina Beatriz Codina  Identity Verified
Argentina
Local time: 04:13
Member (2002)
English to Spanish
+ ...
True... Nov 10, 2003

sylver wrote:
I am afraid, whether McDo likes it or not, the word "McJob" exists and is in use amongst the general population, with that definition, and thus deserves a place in the dictionary.



Some corporate creatures believe that they can change their bad images not by cleaning up their act, but by throwing media tantrums and threatening to sue. However, the term in question merely reflects the people's perception about the company, and it is not going away, even if they manage to banish the term from the dictionary... Isn't language great?


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Jean-Luc Dumont  Identity Verified
France
Local time: 08:13
English to French
+ ...
Hamburgers and the drive-thru widow of opportunity Nov 10, 2003

Hi

Thanks for the McJob info.

I wonder which of the "Mcwords" that can be found in "urbandictionary" the McDonalds management would like?

http://www.urbandictionary.com/browse.php?character=M&skip=180

Just a sample to show wide ranging menu, some others would be "Mcbipped":
McArmageddon

McDonaldization:
The day that the McDonalds Company brings the world to its knees.

McFreakin':
Being excited to the point of peeing your pants. Usually done over a fowl up in a McDonald's order


Daina Jauntirans wrote:

They can't control how words enter the language, can they?
By the way, I am lovin' the $200 million that Ray Kroc's window left NPR, aren't you? That's just what we needed right about now.


Yes Daina, she made a great gesture that gives a new meaning to words : people can actually receive money out of the widow.

Sorry for being flip... pant about it.

In my "neighborhood" there is a small sushi restaurant that claims that when they wanted to call the place "McSushi" they received a letter from McDonalds' lawyers warning them that they would be sued.

JL

McDonalds employs 400,000 people - 12 million is total of workers in restaurant industry in the US



[Edited at 2003-11-11 00:28]


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Christine Andersen  Identity Verified
Denmark
Local time: 08:13
Member (2003)
Danish to English
+ ...
They did sue a sausage kiosk in Denmark... Nov 11, 2003

JLDSF wrote:

In my "neighborhood" there is a small sushi restaurant that claims that when they wanted to call the place "McSushi" they received a letter from McDonalds' lawyers warning them that they would be sued.

[/quote]

In Denmark there was quite a discussion because they sued the owner, who called himself 'McAllan', of 'the best sausage kiosk in the town of Silkeborg'.

After a lot of legal hassle, McD's proposed a settlement: they would drop the case if the kiosk changed its name to MacAllan.

No, said Allan, owner of the kiosk, because then he would just end up in another lawsuit with the whisky MacAllans... and there must be a butcher or two in Scotland who got away with being called McAllan without being sued....

In the end the court ruled that McDonald's did not have any prior claim to the McAllan name in Denmark, and the kiosk owner won.

For better or for worse, the end of the story was that he had to move to new premises! He sold so many sausages that the owner of the ground where the kiosk stood asked him to find somewhere larger with better parking facilities, as the traffic with customers coming long distances to try the sausages was actually a nuisance to the ground owner's own customers...



[Edited at 2003-11-11 10:32]


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sylver  Identity Verified
Local time: 15:13
English to French
Controlling dictionary entries Nov 11, 2003

In this particular case, I think Mac Donald is wrong, as the word actually exist, is used as such, and there is enough hard evidence to support what it implies (That Mc Do employees are usually paid at the minimum wages allowed, and often below, using special part time shedules).

However, one must be aware that changing words' meaning is very sneaky way to bad mouth a company or group, and one it is very hard to defend oneself against. That's a classic propagenda technique and when used.

Well known, respected dictionaries do have a tremendous responsibility and power, and have not always used it for the greatest good. Think of the way the meaning of the word "jew" was twisted to mean "a cheat".

Sometimes, attempting to rectify dictionary entries makes sense, to me at least, when a new word (or alternative meaning) goes beyond the limits of bona fides terminology work and leads to slander.


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Jean-Luc Dumont  Identity Verified
France
Local time: 08:13
English to French
+ ...
Saturated fat opportunity Nov 11, 2003

Hey!

Guess what, here comes a synonym for McJob...Fat chance

A 0.25% promotion rate -as pointed out Sylver - is definitely not teaching the poor employees how to filet-o-fish (TM) but just to get fat...

JL



[Edited at 2003-11-11 23:02]


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Hilary Davies Shelby
United States
Local time: 01:13
German to English
Brilliant! Nov 17, 2003

"Oh no! the general public has cottoned on to the fact that we dont give a fig about our employees"

what are they going to do about it - censor the dictionary? I must say, it's worked very well for Kleenex, Xerox and Hoover....


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xxxMarc P  Identity Verified
Local time: 08:13
German to English
+ ...
Splitting hairs Nov 17, 2003

I think this is a misunderstanding. Sorry to split hairs, but it seems to be perpetuating itself:

sylver wrote:
In fact, Mc Donald's figures are rather eloquent by themselves: 12 millions folks employed, and only about a 1000 made it to own their Mc Donald restaurant (about 0.009%)* .


I think the 12 million refers to all employees in the catering industry (probably in the US), not just McDonalds employees.

It is McDonalds who are being misleading here, though, as catering industry jobs are by no means all low-skill, low-prospects jobs like their own, and no one thinks of the chefs and waiters at the Ritz when they hear "McJobs".

What's more, McDonalds are wanting to have their burger and eat it, too. If they want to claim trade mark rights for every word beginning with "Mc", they'll have to accept the consequences!

Marc (there go my chances of ever working for McDonalds )


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Aisha Maniar  Identity Verified
Local time: 07:13
Member (2003)
Arabic to English
+ ...
Think Nov 18, 2003

I'd say trying to control dictionary entries is definitely an attempt at "McDonaldisation". Dictionaries provide a form of culture and so does McDonalds; deciding which one is "alternative" is up to you!
As for closing down local sushi bars and sausage stands and defamation, well, think "McLibel", the longest civil trial in British legal history between the said fast food company (need I repeat its name) and two Greenpeace activists from London!

Aisha



[Edited at 2003-11-18 11:12]

[Edited at 2003-11-18 11:13]

[Edited at 2003-11-18 12:17]


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sylver  Identity Verified
Local time: 15:13
English to French
Figures Nov 18, 2003

MarcPrior wrote:

I think this is a misunderstanding. Sorry to split hairs, but it seems to be perpetuating itself:

sylver wrote:
In fact, Mc Donald's figures are rather eloquent by themselves: 12 millions folks employed, and only about a 1000 made it to own their Mc Donald restaurant (about 0.009%)* .


I think the 12 million refers to all employees in the catering industry (probably in the US), not just McDonalds employees.


You are right about the figure, but it was already corrected. (See the asterik)

Cheers,
Sylver


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Katherine Zei  Identity Verified
Canada
Local time: 02:13
Italian to English
+ ...
Boycott McD's, their burgers are filled with bacteria Dec 1, 2003

Elena Sgarbossa wrote:

In an open letter to Merriam-Webster, McDonald's CEO Jim Cantalupo said the term is "an inaccurate description of restaurant employment" and "a slap in the face to the 12 million men and women" who work in the restaurant industry.


I'm sure Eric Schlosser, the author of Fast Food Nation really enjoyed that comment.

Che coraggio, Cantalupo!!!

What about the slap in the guts that so many McCrap customers received upon eating one of their McBacteria Specials, i.e. hamburger meat laden with illness-inducing e. coli bacteria that was even fatal in the case of one poor kid from middle America. McKiller Burgers!! Burgers McDeath!!

What about all the exploited workers in the meat-packing industry that are forced to work obscene hours under unsafe conditions for very little money?

*Getting up on the ol' Soapbox, turning on the theatrics full blast*

I urge all Proz members to read Schlosser's book and join the silent (and not-so-silent) millions of McD boycotters around the world. I read it and I haven't returned to that pit of despair and degradation since, though the European counterparts (hopefully) are cleaner and less exploitive.

I miss the McChicken Deluxes, though but I am sticking to my guns! NO MORE MICKIE D'S FOR ME!!

Geez, I hope Henry isn't a fan...

[Edited at 2003-12-01 14:40]


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