Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Redefining misogyny

There's some good discussion about sexism and language in the aftermath of the Australian Prime Minister, Julia Gillard's attack on her male rival for his dodgy attitudes to women. Here, several feminists look at gillard's use of the word misogyny and the Macquarie Dictionary's decision to update their entry for the word in the light of Gillard's use of it.

They are now adding a definition of it, according to this piece from the Australian Financial Review,  so it changes as outlined here:


While this is good material for language and gender, it's also interesting to think about how dictionaries work these days and the ways in which they respond to changing usages. We all know that language changes, but there are different positions adopted by commentators about how much a dictionary should change and respond to - what some might describe as - mistaken or just plain wrong usage. And when you introduce sexism and political correctness to the mix, you have a recipe for some heated debate, like you'll find here and in the comments that follow this piece in The Guardian.

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