Fun_People Archive
5 Sep
McJob and the OED

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From: Peter Langston <psl>
Date: Fri,  5 Sep 97 19:41:59 -0700
To: Fun_People
Subject: McJob and the OED

[Jym is responding to an article on "Office Lingo" that looked suspiciously
 like either the Fun_People article called "Jargon Watch" -
 or the one called "Jargon update" -
 except that it identified the jargon as being part of the "Generation X"
 phenomenon...  -psl]

[UPDATE: The Fun_People archive moved in September 1998 to:
	<>  -psl]

From: Jym Dyer <>

=o= Trendoid "Generation X" stuff makes me wanna hurl.  Douglas Coupland's
most excellent novel of the same name is a different matter, though, and
features some wry lingo definitions in its marginalia.

=o= One of these is "McJob."  It's run into some trouble.

[Forwards McCensored]

The UK paper _The_Independent_ on Sunday, 22 June, carried a story called
"OED chickens out over 'McJob'"

The Oxford English Dictionary has been advised by lawyers not to include
the word "McJob" in its next issue, writes Mark Rowe.

McD's success in the McLibel trial has made the OED wary that the
multinational may seek to flex its muscles in other areas.

"McJob", to the great displeasure of McDonald's, is widely used as a
euphemism for any form of dead-end, low paid employment.  The OED believes
the word is in common enough useage to be included within its esteemed

The OED says it has yet to make a decision on "McJob", but lawyers have
suggested it drop the word on legal grounds.

OED Chief editor John Simpson said he intended to use the word in future,
but not in the next 3000-word supplementary edition, due out at the end of
the summer. "We have taken legal advice, since we are aware that companies
may be unhappy and object to the tone of such words," he said. "To withdraw
any word is against our policy. We have not yet made a decision."

The definition:

McJob n. colloq. (freq. derog) [the name of the McDonalds chain of fast-food
restaurants, regarded as a typical source of such employment + JOB n. Prob.
not a direct reference to the programme mentioned in quot. 1985, but rather
based on McDonalds' general practice of using Mc- as a preformative element
in a range of proprietary product names] A poorly paid job with few
prospects, esp.  one taken by an overqualified worker because of a shortage
of other prospects or lack of ambition.

U.S. McLibel Support Campaign               Email
PO Box 62                                        Phone/Fax 802-586-9628
Craftsbury VT 05826-0062          

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