19 December, 2012


Offence taker's corner - the twitterati are outraged

I subscribe to the Oxford English Dictionary's word of the day mailshot. Each day the OED selects an interesting word from its ginormous trove and basically mails out a copy of the entry to subscribers. (Incidentally, if your local council's libraries department is signed up, you may find that you can login to the entire online OED database free of charge using your library card number.)

Yesterday I received an additional mailshot from the OED, the text of which is also published on the OED website,

OED Word of the Day: An Apology

We would like to apologize unreservedly for the publication of bloodbath as the word of the day on 18th December 2012.

The OED word of the day is selected months in advance by an editorial committee, and is distributed automatically each day. The timing of today’s word is a coincidence of the worst kind, and we apologize for any distress or upset caused by what might seem to be a highly insensitive choice. What we hope to show with our words of the day is that even seemingly commonplace words can have interesting etymologies; however we have taken today’s word down from the OED Online homepage and are now taking immediate steps to review our scheduling and selection policy.

So what was that all about then?  The Huff Post sheds some light.  It's not mentioned anywhere as far I can see, but I assume the outrage is about the near coincidence of the choice of the word bloodbath with the recent events at Newtown, CT.

Come on, it's a big world.  If any of the bereaved or the wider population of Newtown even subscribe to the OED's word of the day feed, I'm sure they have other things to think about than getting upset about some petty and frankly rather contrived coincidence.

He who seeks offence with sufficient diligence will most surely find it.  I have to say that if I'm disgusted about anything then it's with the OED for crawling to these self-righteous little wankers and their moral outrage by proxy.

OED word of the day should have been

Fuck (v) as in Fuck off you self-righteous offense seeking wankers

Can't see this having arisen if it had just been business as usual in Syria, Pakistan, DRC etc over the past week. So b****bath is taboo because the Newtown victims were white middle-class kids in a nice leafy blue state in New England. The offence takers and the apologetic OED are not merely self-righteous w***ers, they are racist classist imperialist chauvinist w***ers.

Modern life is now all about a condition called RFUO.

That's 'Ready For Unexpected (or Unforeseen) Outrage.'

Organisations are thus poised to issue any grovelling apology, regret, express sadness, offer condolences, or promise self-flagellation. It can even be used for simply acknowledging they are being 'aware.' Armed with this (no pun intended) you can stave of the inevitable tsunami of outrage that follows any action. Or word.

Time to add a new square on the Monopoly board.
"You have offended the player to your right. Apoplogise to them, give them all your monopoly money and property, give them all your real money, leave the game, leave the room."

Post a Comment

<< Home

This page is powered by Blogger. Isn't yours?